Police stepping up patrols in Dartmouth after rash of violent crimes
Published Monday, June 19, 2017 7:59PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 20, 2017 10:56AM ADT
A recent string of violent crimes in Dartmouth, including two murders, has prompted calls for police to do more to protect the public, such as increasing foot patrols.
Two people accused in the murder of a woman and the attempted murder of a man last week made their first court appearance Monday morning.
Samanda Rose Ritch, 19, and Calvin Maynard Sparks, 23, are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Nadia Gonzales.
It is the third homicide in Dartmouth this year; it is also the first in which police have laid charges.
In another incident, officers responded around 6:30 pm Sunday to a stabbing in the area of Thistle Street and Wyse Road. The victim was taken to hospital.
The spike in violence has residents like Pam Goiette speaking out.
“In the North End, you have a sense that it's getting dark and you'd better get home,” says Goiette.
She says she has a right to feel safe in her community.
She has vented her anger online, calling for more police patrols.
“I think they need to not be sitting in their cars or biking. I think they need to be walking, like everyone else who is walking who this is happening too. You need to get down there in the trenches with us.”
For their part, Halifax Regional Police say they are increasing foot patrols and paying close attention to some targeted areas.
“It can't hurt,” says Halifax Regional Police Const. Dianne Penfound. “If we fly the flag and we are showing that we are in the area, we’re hoping it will have some impact.”
Patrols include the walking path between Albro Lake Road and Farrell Street where 18-year-old Chelsie Probert was founded injured June 6. Probert was rushed to the hospital, but later died.
Police have deemed her death a homicide. No arrests have been made.
City councillors want to see safety improvements, such as better lighting and video surveillance.
“It's much bigger than just policing, it's a community issue,” says Coun. Sam Austin. “You see these things on the TV, but you can't live in fear. Two high-profile incidents do not define our community and we can't let that define our community.”
“I got into an argument today, somebody told me it's happening all over; it's in Halifax, Spryfield, but that may be, and it's probably true, but I live in North End Dartmouth and I want it to stop in my area,” says Goiette.
Another concern expressed by Dartmouth residents is that some of the crimes are happening during the daylight hours.
It was around 7:42 p.m. Friday when Nadia Gonzales’ body was found inside an apartment building on Hastings Drive.
The two people charged in the case are due back in court on July 24.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl.