Veer calls for safety review

The City of Red Deer may wish to beef up its municipal warden staff to prevent minor crimes within Red Deer parks and the downtown area, says a city councillor.

The City of Red Deer may wish to beef up its municipal warden staff to prevent minor crimes within Red Deer parks and the downtown area, says a city councillor.

Tara Veer is calling upon city administration to prepare a report on the roles and responsibilities of various municipal staff that look after community safety and security. She suggests the review address the organizational structures and costs for commissionaires, park wardens, transit wardens, bylaw and park enforcement staff, RCMP and any other security and safety-related positions.

Once the report is received, civic leaders may want to centralize and expand the municipal warden program as one way to enhance safety and security, Veer said.

City council will decided at an upcoming council meeting on whether to approve Veer’s notice of motion.

She said all members of council receive occasional comments from the public about an incident that has happened to them.

“My hope is that city council will look at all of the resources that we allocate to safety and security personnel. . . and really evaluate it,” Veer said after Monday’s council meeting. “I think there a couple of areas where we could gain some efficiencies, and maybe some things we could shuffle from an operational standpoint.”

Veer said her hope is that the municipal warden program would expand so that “cops can be cops.”

“We could enhance our security presence on city streets in a pro-active, rather than a reactive manner.”

Park wardens patrol urban parks to teach users about what activities are allowed in Maskepetoon natural area, neighbourhood parks and key areas in the Waskasoo park area.

A transit bylaw officer was hired in 2008 to observe interactions at the central transit terminal, ride buses and travel with road supervisors in transit vans.

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