Windsor Police Service Chief Al Frederick, listens in as Mayor Drew Dilkens, the police board’s chairman, speaks to the media following a board meeting on March 1, 2019.
Dax Melmer / Windsor Star
Following a year of shootings, stabbings and fatal assaults, members of the Windsor Police Service Board weren’t surprised by the 2018 crime statistics presented at its monthly meeting Friday.Violent crime in the city rose 13 per cent in 2018, with 2,452 incidents recorded, the city’s second-highest rate for violent crimes in four years. Ten of those were homicides, more than triple the number from the year before.“When you see trends happening, that’s when you have to respond,” Mayor Drew Dilkens, the police board’s chairman, said following the meeting. Property crime also rose, with a 24-per-cent increase in 2018. Break-and-enter incidents were up 35 per cent.Although the number of crimes was not divided by neighbourhood, the board identified downtown as a particularly affected area.“We were disturbed by some of the calls for service that we were seeing, and the increase in some of the categories, which we responded to by hiring additional officers,” Dilkens said.Last year, the board approved the hiring of 24 officers for downtown foot patrol at a cost of $2.8 million. “We thought it was important to have more bodies on the street to help control the increase in crime that we’re seeing.”Of the 24 additional officers, a dozen are already on the street as part of the Problem Oriented Policing Unit, he said. The second batch of 12 should be deployed “in short order.”
“A lot of great things are happening in the downtown core.” Police Chief Al Frederick, speaking to media on March 1, 2019, said new initiatives should help combat a recent rise in violent crimes in Windsor.
Dax Melmer /
The larger police presence in the city’s core, which includes a deployment of seven officers in uniform working between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, is already having a positive impact on the area, according to Windsor police Chief Al Frederick.“I think if you talk to the downtown proprietors and citizens and visitors, they’re seeing a difference and feeling the difference with our presence and the actions that we’re taking,” said Frederick. “I think that a lot of great things are happening in the downtown core and across the city in regards to police response.”At a safety and security roundtable discussion earlier in the week held by the Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative, residents expressed gratitude to the police force, said Sarah Cipkar, the organization’s community development coordinator.“They noticed a difference,” she said. “Residents are feeling generally more safe.”Having specific officers dedicated to the downtown has helped residents build rapport with police, she said.“Moving towards a neighbourhood policing model is something that I think has been beneficial, even though that’s not what they’re officially doing,” Cipkar said. “Having that continuity and building those relationships is really helpful.”Brian Yeomans, newly appointed chairman of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association, said he too has noticed more officers on patrol.“I see them at various times when I’m walking around downtown,” said Yeomans.“There are definitely things that are happening downtown that I think are putting us on the right track to improvement,” he said.“Right now, it’s not being portrayed in the nicest light, but I walk around downtown night, day, all the time,” Yeomans said. “I think we have issues that we need to address, and a greater police presence is part of that.”Related Crime Statistics:Homicide/manslaughter – 10 in 2018 vs. 3 in 2017Attempted murder – 11 in 2018 vs. 5 in 2017Assaults against police – 37 in 2018 vs. 27 in 2017Other violent incidents – 583 in 2018 vs. 495 in 2017Criminal Harassment – 84 in 2018 vs. 79 in 2017Robberies and attempts – 183 in 2018 vs. 196 in 2017Assault – family – 599 in 2018 vs. 510 in 2017Assault – nonfamily – 765 in 2018 vs. 666 in 2017Sexual assault – family – 43 in 2018 vs. 24 in 2017Sexual assault –nonfamily – 137 in 2018 vs. 160 in 2017Break and Enters – 2133 in 2018 vs. 1577 in 2017Impaired Driving – 253 in 2018 vs. 219 in firstname.lastname@example.org/wstarcampbell
Mayor Drew Dilkens watches as 2018 homicide/manslaughter statistics are presented during Friday’s police board meeting.
Dax Melmer /