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Downtown patrols returning to the Sault

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Daily security patrols are returning to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.’s downtown this summer. City council recently approved a pilot program that will see security patrols mid-day and in the evenings.

A photo of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.'s downtown core on May 22, 2024. (Mike McDonald/CTV News Northern Ontario)

The program comes as the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service continues to step up patrols in the downtown ahead of the opening of a new police station in the area.

“We’re thrilled to hear that that program is going to be starting up again,” said Sault Downtown Association Chair Nicholas Rosset.

“It was successful in the past, we got a lot of good feedback and we noticed there was a measurable improvement in the safety and security downtown.”

Rosset told CTV News that while the security situation has improved, downtown businesses are still dealing with some challenges.

“We have ongoing struggles, of course, but downtown is busy,” he said.

“Businesses are all saying that business is good, but of course, we keep hearing about safety and security concerns, so we’re working hard to address those.”

Mayor Matthew Shoemaker said supporting public safety initiatives, including an increased security and police presence, contributes to downtown revitalization efforts.

“I think, helps people feel comfortable when they’re going to grab a coffee, or when they’re going to the plaza, or when they’re going to the library, to ensure that they are going to feel safe,” said Shoemaker.

The city has not yet provided any firm dates or a specific location for the proposed downtown, but officials said the public should know more soon.

“Word has fluctuated on dates, but I suspect that there will be news in the next short while about what the plan is going forward,” said Shoemaker. 

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