Are We as Safe as We Could be in Thunder Bay?

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Elderly man in Kam River Park
Elderly man down near Kam River Park. The face of the witness has been blurred to protect his identity. He was assisting the couple and the police.

Focus on a New ‘Status Quo’ Needed

Thunder Bay – OPINION – Just how safe are we in Thunder Bay? Today, the weather for the first day in a while was great to get out, and get some much needed fresh air.

A bike ride down to Kam River Park this afternoon led to a pleasant adventure at first. Taking pictures, enjoying the geese, and just soaking in some sunshine.

Kam River Park is one of Thunder Bay’s diamonds in the rough. On the Kam River, the park is were once upon a time, ships with cargo docked and were unloaded onto trains to continue their journey west. It is across the train tracks from the CPR Station off Syndicate Avenue.

Today, while taking pictures at the park, a very nice elderly couple strolled by, they too were enjoying the weather and getting some exercise.

We exchanged niceties and shared it was a great day for a walk.

The couple left the park going under the railway tracks and coming out onto Donald Street, a mere block from Thunder Bay’s City Hall.

Our small group of cyclists headed out a very short time after that.

Imagine our surprise when we saw two police units and a couple of vehicles parked on Simpson Street right at the entrance to the park.

Police officers and a Crisis Worker were there. The elderly man was down on the ground. His very worried looking wife was trying to comfort him.

Police were supporting him.

Superior EMS arrived and lifted the man unto a stretcher.

Witnesses were telling police that a tall man wearing all black clothing had assaulted this senior citizen.

These kinds of situations are all too common in our city.

Often they never make it into the news.

What is sad in many ways is if the person who allegedly attacked this elderly man is caught, which I certainly hope he is, chances are the damage done will have been done.

It is simply sad in today’s times, we can’t all feel safe in our city.

Posting a brief description of this incident on the NetNewsLedger Facebook page led to many many comments about similar instances across the city.

Are there solutions?

Personally I think there are. It is going to take some real effort on the parts of all four levels of government to really make systemic change in our city.

We need to find ways to deal with the social problems brought on by racism, poverty, addiction, and years of status quo.

Can we do it?

I hope so.

I also hope the elderly couple are doing alright tonight. They sure deserve it.

To the police officers, crisis worker, and Superior EMS Paramedics who responded, all I can say is thank-you for the kindness and efforts you showed today.

Professionalism at its best.

To all of us in our city, we have a lot of work to do to make our city a better place for all of us.

James Murray