Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Things could always be worse - we could be Chicago

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There's been a lot of concern in the past few day's about Winnipeg's soaring homicide rate, especially following this weekend's incredibly tragic double-slaying of Joel and Maggie Labossiere inside their St. Vital home and the brutal killing of Shannon Scromeda inside her Elmwood residence.In both cases, young children were also in the home.With the snow barely melted and already 14 killings in the books - the same number as Toronto - Winnipeg is on pace for a record-setting year.Perhaps of even greater concern is the kinds of murders we are seeing - and the fact so many of them are unsolved as of right now.That's a direct reflection on the increasing amount of gang-related crime, and the fact potential witnesses to many of these cases don't seem very eager to share what they know with police.It's the kind of situation which can quickly escalate out of control.Just look at what's happening in Chicago.Nine people were killed in 36 separate shootings this past weekend, a staggering number even by U.S. major city standards.According to an Associated Press article, community leaders say the violence is part of a deadly breakdown in discipline among gang members after a crackdown over the past few years put many of their leaders behind bars."The older guys, in the past, looked out for the little ones. Now they're all locked up," Nick Stames, a social studies teacher at Crane Tech High School on the city's gang-ridden West Side, told AP."There's no sense of discipline in the projects," he added. "Everybody's doing their own thing."Let's hope police and prosecutors in Winnipeg are able to do their "thing" before the bad guys truly take over the city.www.mikeoncrime.com

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About Mike McIntyre

Journalist, national radio show host, author, pundit and cruise director ... Mike McIntyre loves to keep busy.

Mike is the justice reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, where he has worked since 1997. He produces and hosts the weekly talk radio show Crime and Punishment, which runs on the Corus Radio Network in several Canadian cities.

Born and bred in Winnipeg, Mike graduated from River East Collegiate and completed his journalism studies in the Creative Communications program at Red River College.

He and his wife, Chassity, have two children.

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