Police say assigning more officers to patrol Elgin Street not the answer to solving all crime

Ottawa Police say assigning more officers to monitor Elgin Street during the busy bar-time hours won't put an end to all of the problems along the popular road.

Last weekend Jabeir Jemmie, 21, was stabbed to death in front of a bar near Frank Street.

A number of officers, working together with By-Law and other partners do keep an eye on Elgin Street on a regular basis. The Lowertown Foot Patrol has even been expanded to monitor the area a couple of times this summer.

But Acting Inspector Mike Laviolette says assigning more officers to Elgin would not necessarily mean all crime would be snuffed out.

"Are we going to prevent every single incident from happening? Absolutely not," said Laviolette. "You can throw out the entire police service out on Elgin Street and you're not going to prevent everything from happening."

"Unfortunately the tragic incident took place with the homicide," he added. "It would be mere speculation on anyone's part to suggest that having had more enforcement there that would have prevented it. We don't know that."

He said it also takes the help of business owners to keep Elgin safe.

"I think the business community needs to come together and find a solution, particularly in the service industry or the alcohol service industry," said Laviolette. "I think there needs to be a little bit of self-regulation there."

"If somebody gets kicked out of a bar, I think maybe that information should be shared with some of the other establishments so that they're not going to the next place to cause problems," added Laviolette, who conceded they would need to work through privacy issues to make that happen.

He said more dialogue amongst the business community on Elgin Street, By-Law and police would be key to finding a solution.

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