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Division 2 police station unveiled in downtown Sault Ste Marie

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Police in Sault Ste. Marie plan to open a station downtown to increase their presence in the area and to address community concerns.

Division 2, as the station is being called, will be located on Brock Street. While the location was unveiled Tuesday, police officials said it won’t open until late summer when construction is complete.

“We want to make sure that people in the Sault and the communities around the Sault that are served by this great city can walk downtown without fear,” said Chief Hugh Stevenson.

“They can walk downtown knowing that someone has their back. I can guarantee you, as your chief of police, we have your back. We want to see a greater police presence, whether it's in foot patrols, bike patrols, downtown patrols.”

Stevenson said police need to do a better job developing relationships with the people and businesses in the area, and the new station will help that process.

“I can tell you, as chief, we haven't done a good job at that,” he said.

“And I'm very happy to fall on my own sword for that. But this will change.”

Once renovations are complete, police want to bring in agencies like Crime Stoppers and Algoma District and Victim Services.

“Our police service cannot arrest its way out of the challenges we face, but the sense of security provided by a police presence will provide innumerable benefits to our downtown core,” said Mayor Matthew Shoemaker.

“Together, the city and police services must work to create a safer community. Under the leadership of Chief Stephenson, we are making progress, but I acknowledge that there remains a lot of work ahead of us.”

The service has entered into a 10-year lease agreement for the space with a price tag of about $80,000 a year.

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