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WATCH: Mayor Shoemaker on the 'crisis' facing our city

'It was a tough week': In a conversation with SooToday, Matthew Shoemaker explains what compelled him to write an open letter to the people of Sault Ste. Marie

EDITOR'S NOTE: This interview was recorded the day before Sault Police announced that the same suspect accused of a brutal stabbing on the boardwalk was charged with the first-degree murder of 22-year-old Taylor Marshall.

Mayor Matthew Shoemaker recently released an open letter to the community, assuring locals that he and other civic leaders are working as hard as possible “to make our city safe, healthy, and the envy of North America.”

Shoemaker was compelled to write the letter after a string of devastating events that left many in Sault Ste. Marie "feeling unsettled": the death of an off-duty police officer, a violent car crash that claimed the life of a 26-year-old woman, a brutal stabbing at the city’s boardwalk, and a homicide on John Street that claimed the life of 22-year-old Taylor Marshall.

“Police are regularly attending calls for incidences that were once rare in our community,” Shoemaker wrote in his letter. “While the negative headlines are disheartening, they also serve to reinforce our need to keep pushing for change.”

On Sept. 13, Shoemaker joined Village Media's editor-in-chief Michael Friscolanti for an in-depth discussion about his letter, the reaction it has received, and what needs to be done to combat the ongoing addictions and mental health crisis in Sault Ste. Marie.

“You don’t want to draw attention to the bad things going on in the community," Shoemaker said of his letter. "But the circumstances of last week, I think, warranted an acknowledgement of the struggle that we were facing and what we are trying to do to help.”

You can watch the full interview above.