City proactive when it comes to safety concerns

Thank you for the opportunity to submit a monthly column for the Red Deer Advocate.

Over the course of the year, I hope to address various issues the citizens of Red Deer raise with City Council throughout our conversations in the community.

Red Deerians continue to consistently identify crime and public safety as their number one priority for City Council and the city to address.

Over the past few years, council, The city through municipal policing operations, and the RCMP have adopted and implemented various strategies to respond to what has been an escalation of public concerns for safety.

In addition to the above, council gave two approvals this week that will no doubt be of significant interest to our citizens:

Policing Governance and Service Review: A “Policing Governance Review” is, in short, an exploration of “who” delivers police services in Red Deer, such as the RCMP, the city, or some continuing combination of the two (as is our current model).

A “service review” will consider “what” scope of services are provided by local police and “how” established or new services are delivered.

While there are many different nuances to how council, city staff, the RCMP and the public may interpret all of the above, the governance review will essentially provide council with key information necessary to responsibly chart our course in policing for the next decade.

The last time council studied policing substantially was in 2003/2004 with an update in 2011.

Given Red Deer’s elevated role as a regional hub city, as Alberta’s central city on the QE2 corridor and positioning for Western Canadian trade and distribution, in addition to highly challenging economic conditions and social complexities that Alberta cities in particular are faced with, it is incumbent on council to responsibly review the effectiveness of the policing services delivered through our $37 million dollar local policing budget ($25 million of which is allocated to the RCMP and $12 million, which is designated for municipal police services).

We need to ensure our model and scope of policing services are meeting the needs of Red Deerians.

2018/2019 Annual Policing Plan:

I have often commented that part of the systemic challenge of policing is Red Deer historically was the fact that the city had not fully exercised the provisions in our partnership agreement with the RCMP to determine local enforcement priorities and service levels. In my view, this has polarized the debate regarding policing in Red Deer, fuelling the speculation that the local RCMP detachment responds to Ottawa, and not to the local enforcement needs of our community.

In recent years, however, the city has worked with the RCMP to identify the Annual Policing Plan local enforcement priorities, with this year marking an important step in the development of the new policing priorities by initiating a formal consultation with Red Deerians.

In response to the input of our citizens, Council subsequently adopted our local enforcement priorities for 2018/2019 as follows:

Drug and Property Crime Enforcement

Downtown Safety

Quality of Service and Responsiveness

This week, as part of the strategy in actioning the established priorities, the city allocated the 10 new RCMP officers to the Crime Reduction Team and Downtown Core task forces.

I hope this helps to answer some of your questions until next month.

As always, council thanks you for the ongoing opportunity to represent you. We look forward to seeing you all in the near future and hearing about what is important to citizens in our community.

Until next time …

Mayor Tara Veer

Just Posted

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

Eight dogs found in Innisfail hotel room were kept in cages

Eight dogs, kept in cages in a small hotel room in Innisfail… Continue reading

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month