LASALLE, ONT. -- The town of LaSalle has been named the third safest community in Canada, according to the Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics.

“When I am talking to the residents of our community, they often tell me how safe they feel,” said LaSalle Mayor Marc Bondy. “We thank the members of the LaSalle Police Service for their commitment and dedication to ensuring our safety.”

The ranking is based on the Crime Severity Index for 2020 which collects crime reported data in 325 police services across the country. The index is designed to measure the change in the overall seriousness of crime from one year to the next, as well as relative differences in the seriousness of crime across the country. It measures both violent and non-violent crimes.

“We are pleased that the Town of LaSalle consistently ranks as having one of the lowest rates of crime in the country especially as we navigate this global pandemic and its effect on our operations, staff and community at large,” said Acting Chief Duncan Davies.

“We just take care of each other! The community looks after each other.”

LaSalle residents Maria Colucci and Giovanna, who didn’t wish to use her last name, say they feel safe in the community, but admit they’ve become more proactive over the last several years.

“We like to go for a walk. We have a nice beautiful park and we feel safe!” Giovanna adds, “We used to keep all our doors always open, but I think lately we close it, it’s a little bit, changed a little. We still feel safe!”

Town councillor and former Windsor police officer Mike Akpata credits the entire community, saying it’s a team effort.

“Locking doors, locking their cars, hardening their infrastructure. We’re very pleased that all of the efforts have resulted in a third place ranking, but for us it’s about what we do for each other.”

Akpata notes the COVID-19 pandemic meant more people were keeping an eye on their neighbourhood, saying community engagement has been more proactive than reactive.

“It is the bus drivers keeping an eye out for people, it is our public works folks that are out in trucks with radios looking out for people, it is our citizens calling in. It is a comprehensive effort that makes LaSalle a wonderful place to live.”