A couple of years ago, Kenora Makwa Patrol manager Marshall Hardy wanted to make sure that everyone in the community knew what they were doing.
That’s certainly the case in 2023 as the patrol celebrated its third anniversary last week.
“There’s nothing but good things that we hear and see from everyone in Kenora,” Hardy said.
“We get the feedback that we are doing a good job out there and how we are out and about all the time giving help to whoever needs it.”
The Kenora Makwa Patrol is a community-based organization with the Kenora Chiefs Advisory that is based within the city of Kenora. It mainly patrols the downtown core on a 24/7 basis either by vehicle or on foot.
They check on people and provide services to the vulnerable population within the community, such as handing out food and water or providing safe rides and safe escorts.
The patrol features five teams of two that work around the clock, along with five part-time workers that are on the foot patrol.
“Everyone puts their heart and soul into this job,” Hardy said. “We work through the snow, rain and all the bad weather to try and reach people no matter where they are and to support them with their needs.”
Hardy feels that the program is very important to have in a community like Kenora.
“We’re all from here and if we get a call within Kenora, we want to help out,” Hardy said.
“Sometimes if people go missing here, we are there to help assist the families and keep an eye out for them. We want to help families out when they don’t know where their loved ones are.”
The patrol also gets support from organizations in Kenora, such as the city council, Kenora District Services Board, the OPP and Treaty Three Police Service, and the general public.
“Our administrative assistant (Jennifer Lebel) does a really great job of reaching out and letting people know if we need socks, blankets or things like that,” Hardy said. “We reach out to the community and they help us out with those drives for much-needed items.”
Looking forward, Hardy hopes that the Makwa Patrol continues to do what they have been doing for the last three years.
“We want to be there for the people that are in need here in Kenora,” Hardy said.
“It’s pretty awesome to have something like this in our community. When I go to the bigger cities like Thunder Bay and Winnipeg and see things there, I sometimes think, ‘Wow, there’s a need for something like Makwa Patrol here.’
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a bigger community or a smaller one. I think there’s a need for patrols all over with the way that things are right now.”
For more information on Makwa Patrol, contact Hardy or Lebel at 807-464-7233.