Mayor discusses city crime with safety minister

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens discusses a new crime initiative for the city at Windsor City Hall, October 1, 2018. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Windsor’s mayor put recent violent crime in the city front and centre in a meeting with provincial officials.

In his first interview on city business since his re-election this week, Mayor Drew Dilkens told reporters Thursday that he had a lengthy conversation with Michael Tibollo, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. The mayor and the minister discussed Windsor’s surge in violent crime, and how Windsor’s place on the U.S. border sheds a different light on the city compared to others across Ontario.

“He appreciates the distinction, with the City of Windsor versus other communities, because of our border location,” said Dilkens. “I thought it was a positive conversation, and it sounds like the provincial government is working on some solutions.”

Those solutions appear to be similar to those being taken to address violent and gang-related crime in Toronto, which has seen a deadly spike in gun deaths this year.

Windsor has also seen an increase in violent crime, with eight murders taking place this year.

“The nature of this is often related to drugs and to gangs,” said Dilkens. “Obviously, there were guns involved, and I want to make sure that I express to the minister that we have concern that we’re seeing things in our community, that we’re not used to seeing.”

The mayor said he is encouraged nonetheless in what police have done so far to help bring down the crime rate in the core.

“The Windsor Police Service has responded, and the board has responded by approving the hiring of 24 additional officers, starting a downtown foot patrol, and in the downtown core, a number of initiatives that we discussed under the zero-tolerance initiative,” said Dilkens.

The WPS monthly crime report for September 2018 shows that despite the increase of total Criminal Code violations over September 2017, crimes against people have decreased by 5.5 per cent.