The situation at a downtown Windsor apartment building has prompted the Windsor Police Service to make some changes in how it tracks crime.
Acting chief Al Frederick claims the service had no idea how bad things had become at 920 Ouellette Ave., where police had responded to more than 100 calls in the first six months of the year. He said the problem was in the computerized filing system.
"Because our databank identifies specific addresses, and they're all different addresses in there, we didn't make the linkage that overall there was a real problem," Frederick said. "We're going to address that internally within our computer system."
A resident, who became fed up with the problems at the city-owned building, finally complained to Mayor Eddie Francis.
Cathy Nantais has lived in the building for seven years. She is also on the safety security committee and said prostitution, violence and drugs are all common occurrences.
"When you phone the police, they should be here quicker and they should investigate a little bit more," Nantais said.
Police are patrolling the hallways of 920 Ouellette Ave. because of chronic complaints about drugs and petty crime.
Social work students from the University of Windsor will help police get a handle on the issues at the highrise.
Nantais has a book of problems she has noticed. It spans six pages. She claims she often brings them to the attention of building officials but says the issues are rarely fixed.
Nantais is thankful help is on its way but wonders why now.
"A lot of the things that have happened, they sort of creep up on you," said Jim Steele, CEO of the Windsor-Essex Community Housing Corporation. "We house a lot of people that have have some social issue. We're still committed to that. We're very good at managing our buildings.
Windsor-Essex Community Housing welcomes help in addressing problems at one of its buildings. Coun. Percy Hatfield sits on the board of the housing agency.
"When there are problems you can't deal with all by yourself, when you are a landlord, you need partnerships," Hatfield said. "They will get everybody together to get a complete understanding of everything that's going on."
Hatfield said the first step will be to create a safe environment and then work with the tenants to maintain that.