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Police: Herongate needs constant policing

Herongate residents are calling on police to reopen their Community Police Centre on Cedarwood Drive, following an incident last week that saw a man shot in the face.

The centre, which offered residents a place to walk in and speak with an officer, closed several months ago over health and safety concerns.

Supt. Tyrus Cameron did not deny the troubled neighbourhood needed a police presence.

"That's sort of an area that needs constant policing," he told CFRA. "There needs to be visible policing. We know that area has some difficulties now and what we'd like to do is in an area such as the Herongate, Cedarwood, Heatherington area is put more than just one community police officer there for times."

But like the city's other Community Police Centres, the one at Herongate wasn't getting much through traffic, and Cameron said there are better ways police can assert their presence in a community.

"I don't want our officers who are highly trained, highly skilled, want to keep the community safe sitting there as the Maytag repairmen of policing, hoping for somebody to come in, because frankly we do know how many people were visiting Community Police Centres and it was very, very low," he said.

He said officers could meet residents at community centres and gathering spots, even coffee shops.

The Ottawa Police Service is in the midst of a review that will decide whether to shutter all the Community Police Centres in favour of having community officers go mobile in their assigned neighbourhoods.

That review is expected to be completed later this year.

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