Deputy mayor in North Bay wants city police to talk to residents about crime and ways to stay safe
Tuesday evening is one night Marie Darnell never wants to relive.
Darnell told CTV News three men tried to break into her home, located in the city’s downtown.
“I could hear my door being pushed in, but it doesn’t sit flush so I could hear it being kicked in and shoved and my doorknob felt like it was being ripped off,” she said.
Darnell said she had to set off her car alarm before the would-be intruder finally left. She said she made eye contact with one of them, but that didn’t scare him off.
“I grew up in North Bay and you could literally leave your door unlocked,” she said. “We moved here in January and I just don’t feel safe.”
Darnell isn’t the only North Bay resident who is scared. Deputy Mayor Tanya Vrebosch said she often hears from people who don’t feel safe.
“The landscape has changed over the last five years, and we all know that,” said Vrebosch.
“I make sure I’m aware of my surroundings. But I don’t just do that in North Bay, I do that anywhere I would go. I think people need to be aware of their surroundings anywhere they go.”
“Is North Bay safe? I think it’s as safe as any other community,” she added.
Now Vrebosch is calling on the North Bay Police Service to do a better job communicating with the community.
“We are seeing stuff, and we’re hearing more then we ever have before," she said. "Just talk to us a little bit more, talk to us about safety, about what you’re doing and give the community a little bit more comfort.”
Insp. Jeff Warner with the North Bay police said they have implemented some new initiatives.
“We’ve got the community response unit that we implemented in January,” Warner said. “Whatever the need of the community, that’s who's used to specifically target those areas. (We're) hoping to identify and deter some of this behaviour that’s going on.”
For her part, Darnell is asking for more police presence downtown.
“Hire more police officers -- our city desperately needs more police officers,” she said.
Warner said this year is one of the busiest in terms of the number of incidents that he has seen in his 20-year career with the North Bay police.