Last week Ottawa Police Services announced that they would expand the number of Neighbourhood Resource Teams (NRT) in Ottawa and that one will be coming to Bay Ward this fall. This week, in preparation for this addition of police resources, I sat down with the Deputy Chief of Police, Steve Bell, at the Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre (PQCHC) to discuss the roll out of this team. We were joined by representatives of PQCHC Chief Executive Officer, Christopher McIntosh, and his front line workers in the community as well as a leadership team from Ottawa Community Housing, the Youth Services Bureau, and Directors of the local Community Houses. I noted that it is important that we continue to work together to keep the community safe. There is much to do in working with community members at risk.
The events of last week were devastating for the Britannia Woods Community. “Manny” Akol was a talented football player and a recording artist. He leaves behind friends and family who will mourn his loss. The situation that led to this death is not something that will be simple to resolve and an outreach plan is required to reach individuals like Manny.
The NRT will help our community but as a City and a society we have many issues to resolve to prevent future situations like this. I want to thank those who are already on the front lines in helping youth in our community. As we move forward, this work is important in helping our community as a whole.