One person has been charged, and a local business employee has suffered minor injuries following an altercation over the weekend.
On Saturday December 10, officers with the Kenora O.P.P. responded to a report of an assault of an employee at the Red Apple store on Main Street. When police arrived, they witnessed Kenora resident Felicity Loon damaging merchandise. The 23-year-old is also reported to have assaulted an O.P.P. officer.
Loon was criminally charged with mischief, assault, and assault of an officer.
The Kenora O.P.P. spoke on the situation and says there is 'always room for improvement' when it comes to downtown safety.
"Our officers are on patrol and a lot of our calls for service are in the downtown core. We’re working with different businesses and the Chamber of Commerce to see what we can do differently as part of our downtown safety plan. We’re always looking to improve." says Kenora O.P.P. Detachment Commander, Inspector Jeff Duggan.
The O.P.P. safety plan was put into place after a survey conducted by Kenora’s Police Services Board showed that 70 per cent of over 700 community members didn’t feel safe walking downtown alone at night in the Kenora area.
The plan includes a partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association to provide mobile crisis and outreach teams, as well as increase the size of the Community Street Crime Unit to deal with street-level drug enforcement and property crime calls for service - increase foot patrol of the downtown core and other high crime areas - and the installation of security cameras, to name a few.
"I think it’s important that people monitor their stores; who’s coming and going. If they see suspicious activity, make sure and call us. We always hear reports of things going on that are never reported to us. The only way we can find out about stuff happening is if people call us. We’re certainly in tune to what’s happening downtown and we’re just encouraging business owners and members of the public to call the police."
The Kenora OPP also continues to lobby the Province to make security changes at northwestern Ontario LCBO locations to better protect employees, officers and those in need of help.