'Overwhelming and frustrating': Victoria residents fed up with police incidents at homeless hotel
VICTORIA -- Frustrations are running high in Victoria's Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood after another incident at a hotel housing the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several police officers were seen swarming the Travelodge hotel on Gorge Road around 6 p.m. Saturday.
“There were three squad cars and one wagon, and apparently there was a man with a knife confronting someone in Travelodge,” said Jennifer Almeida, a strata council member at the nearby Treelane Estates.
“For residents who are veterans with PTSD, to see the wagon and the squad cars, it takes back to the war-zone trauma that they have,” Almeida said, noting that most of Treelane's residents are seniors.
"I fear for my safety and what can happen to me,” she added.
Police have not released any details about their significant presence in the area that night, but neighbours tell CTV News they were told to stay away from the hotel during the incident.
Less than two weeks earlier, officers with the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team closed down Gorge Road and arrested a man who allegedly fired a compressed-air gun at another person in the hotel.
Resident Jessica Vazquez called the incidents "overwhelming" for local residents.
“All we discuss is what happened the night before and what’s happening now," Vazquez says.
"It’s overwhelming and it’s frustrating and it’s, like, what can we do about it? There’s only so much that can be done... I mean, how many times can you call the cops?"
The Victoria Police Department did not respond to requests for comment Monday.