Ward 3 candidate Renaldo Agostino presents plan for a safer downtown, September 14, 2022. (Photo by Maureen Revait) Ward 3 candidate Renaldo Agostino presents plan for a safer downtown, September 14, 2022. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

Agostino reveals plan to make downtown safer

City of Windsor Ward 3 candidate Renaldo Agostino's plan to make downtown safer includes hiring more police officers and making downtown uncomfortable for lawbreakers.

Agostino believes his five-part plan will reduce crime and make downtown more appealing for businesses and residents.

"Windsor is amazing, the people here are amazing. We can make downtown amazing again. We just have to put in a little bit of work, a little bit of elbow grease will get the job done. It's amazing down here. If we take these steps, we can be even better," said Agostino.

He says he'd push for a reimplementation of the off-duty policing program that allowed private businesses to hire police officers for increased security. He'd also like to see an increased police presence by creating a storefront police unit in a vacant downtown property.

In recent years, the Windsor Police Service has implemented the Problem-Oriented Policing Unit which focuses on areas in the city where criminal activity is increased, primarily downtown. In the last month, this unit has made numerous arrests.

“We’ve heard from downtown residents and business owners who don’t feel safe and are frustrated by crime,” said Acting Police Chief Jason Bellaire. “We understand and share those concerns, and we continue to take a community-focused approach to ensure public safety.”

According to the Windsor Police Service, crimes against people are actually down in 2022 compared to the 10-year average. The 10-year average for crimes against people is 8.75 occurrences per month while so far in 2022 there have been 6.11 occurrences per month.

Agostino also pledges to make physical changes to downtown to make the area "uncomfortable" for people intent on engaging in criminal behaviour. These changes include blocking vestibules of vacant storefronts and relocating many benches.

He'd also like to revisit the location of the proposed safe injection site on Goyeau Street.

"Would I like to see it in the downtown? Certainly not, but if it makes sense there then we should put it downtown, but not right across the street from a McDonald's," said Agostino.

Also running in Ward 3 are Katherine Cameron, Helmi Charif, Angela Fitzpatrick, Nick Kolasky, Kennedy Mangera, James McCarte, Cynthia Van Vrouwerff, and Brian Yeomans. There is no incumbent running in the election, as Councillor Rino Bortolin decided not to go for another term.

The municipal election is on October 24, 2022.

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