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New Ottawa police task force to probe unsolved homicides

The Ottawa Police Service plans to review a series of cold cases with new resources and tactics to draw out fresh leads.

The OPS said Monday it has launched an unsolved homicides task force to review outstanding cases. The existing homicide unit will lead the initiative with some additional resources at its disposal.

Chief Peter Sloly said in a statement that the service will use new approaches such as rewards and neighbourhood resource teams to “develop more community links.” Insp. Carl Cartright added that the probes “may include the use of newer investigative techniques.”

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Global News has reached out to OPS for details on examples of these new tactics.

The OPS did not disclose which deaths or a specific number of cases to be re-examined but said the victims in the crimes are often young men from marginalized communities. Gun violence also played a role in several cases, police said.

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The service said as part of a release that it hopes the task force will improve public trust and provide a “heightened” duty of care for the victims’ families.

“This new task force is the next step in our mission to solve these homicides, support the victim’s families, hold the perpetrators accountable and improve the safety of all affected communities,” Sloly said.

Cartright called on members of the community to help with the task force’s efforts.

“Homicides are solved because people with information come forward to police. If you know something, we ask you to come forward and do the right thing both for the victims and their families and to ensure this does not happen again,” he said.

Anyone with information about an unsolved homicide is asked to call police at 613-236-1222 ext. 5493. Anonymous tips can be submitted via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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