Reaction guarded to bus stop plan

« They are doing crack, fighting and robbing people in broad daylight. »


Transit riders are wary of the city’s plan to hire a new security squad to patrol the library area and many think more must be done to combat escalating violence.

This week, community services police officer acting Sgt. Serge Soucy revealed to Metro there would be a new detail of six community patrol officers overseeing the Stanley Milner Library and Churchill Square area downtown.

But a nearby coffee shop employee who sees the daily misbehaviour taking place in broad daylight thinks the city needs to do more than offer a Band-Aid solution.

"I think they actually need to do an entire crackdown on the crime. I actually don’t think just adding more security patrol will help the situation much," he said, asking Metro to withhold his name. "They are doing crack, fighting and robbing people in broad daylight."

"Honestly, I think the city needs to do more. I think the mayor needs to step up and admit there is a problem. It’s happening right on their doorstep and they just turn a blind eye," he added, referring to the crime on city hall property.

Mayor Stephen Mandel yesterday told Metro he applauded the hiring of more officers in the area, but says preventive measures for youth crime are also needed.

"Putting a few more officers might move it somewhere else, but it doesn’t correct it," he said.

Transit riders Noelle and Pierre Lamarche like the plan for new guards. "I think it’s a visibility factor and I think it would help make some people feel safer," the Lamarches said.

The six new officers will be able to issue tickets and carry batons but they won’t carry firearms or handcuffs.

–With files from Steve Lillebuen

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