In a one on one interview with SaultOnline which will be aired Monday at 1 p.m. on ONNTV, Mayor Christian Provenzano addressed a significant concern in the community.
We asked him, outside of the new park and other city investments, what else is being done, particularly, about the crime in Jamestown.
“I talk to the Chief [of Police], probably more regularly than most mayor’s talk to chiefs, even though they probably do it regularly. He and I have a pretty open line of communication, and we’re on the phone quite frequently. I [also] sit on the Police Service board and I have for six years, so I’m familiar with the operation of police services,” said Provenzano.
He noted that if we (SaultOnline) talked to the Police Chief, as we have in the past, he would advise that it’s as much a healthcare issue as it is crime.
“People need care. People need health care. The Service has done a really good job over the last number of years of taking drugs off the streets. I’m not going to talk about the size of the bust, or what they’re doing there. I’m going to leave that to the Chief.”
As he did at council and before giving the above answer, he wanted to make sure the public understood that he appreciated everything the police have done.
“Let me just recognize… how much work and demand there has been on Police Services recently, and how hard the Services have been working to keep the community safe. It’s not an easy job, that is not an easy job. And it’s a job has become more difficult with time and has become more acute, recently.”
Some other quotes of note throughout the answer.
- “The chief has worked hard and is focusing on the criminal element of the drug trade in interfering with that, and making arrests and disturbing that.”
- “A big part of the demand [on] the Police Services are social disturbance calls. I think there’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 80% of the calls. And a lot of those calls relate to addictions and mental health issues.”
- “Officers will often get tied up when they’re on a call, especially if it’s a more acute call. The more acute calls get more officers tied up in them for a longer period of time, which leaves less officers to be present to to respond to other calls.”
The interview with Provenzano can be seen, in its entirety, in the featured video, attached to this article.
Stay with SaultOnline as we break down a few of the other questions from our post-council interview.