Windsor's border location draws guns, gangs: mayor

Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis says his city's location on the Canada-U.S. border makes it "a conduit for guns" and a magnet for gangs. But he says police are on top of the issues and the city is safe.

Windsor, Ont.'s location on the Canada-U.S. border makes it "a conduit for guns" and a magnet for gangs, the ciy's mayor said Thursday night.

In a frank interview with CBC News, Eddie Francis acknowledged "an element of guns, gangs and drugs in this community."

"Overall, the safety of this community, and the safety of the neighbourhoods within this community, I think, is well-known," he said.

Francis, who is also the chairman of the Windsor Police Services Board, made his comments following a recent spate of shootings in the downtown core. 

There were shootings on Chippawa Street, west of downtown, on Sept. 10 and 20.

On Sept. 26, 23-year-old Mohamed Mohamed Yousef died after he was shot outside a nightclub near the corner of Pelissier Street and Wyandotte Street.

"From time to time, you do have these acts of violence that are being perpetrated and are obviously creating a lot of concern," Francis said.

"Police will continue to appropriate the proper resources and are on top of it the best they can."

Gangs are not a new issue for Windsor.

In 2006, Windsor created a guns, gangs and drugs unit, Francis said, specifically to handle the cross-border drug trade.

"We have demonstrated in the past that we've been able to partner with both American and Ontario authorities," he said.

"So we are on top of these issues and will continue to be on top of these issues, because we believe very strongly that we need to take it to the gangs."