Crime is on most Red Deerians’ minds going into 2020.
Red Deer resident Annette Bradley said Monday crime in the city as gotten worse in recent years. She would like to see an increased police presence in the city: more boots on the ground and an increase in regular patrols.
She doesn’t believe Red Deer needs a municipal police force, “as long as there’s more (RCMP) presence.”
“Especially downtown,” she added, explaining she still shops in downtown Red Deer, but believes some people don’t anymore.
Bradley who lives in Highland Green Estates said she feels safe in her area and teaches music at a school in the Riverside area.
“And we have ton of supervision at all times, because there are so many street people walking by… and we have to keep our (school) doors locked at all times which we never used to have to.”
Erin Johnson, a 25-year-old Red Deer resident, said she would like to see more resources to help people who are experiencing homelessness such as an overdose prevention site and a treatment centre.
“I think the focus should be put on helping people who are committing these crimes because there’s always a reason that they are committing those crimes so if we help the economy and we help those people get on their feet, get jobs, reintegrate them in the society to contribute, then I think there will be less crime in the future,” she said.
Johnson who formerly worked in the oil and gas industry said she is a big supporter of pipelines and the industry as a whole.
The Red Deer resident also wants to see a focus on healthcare, given the wait times at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
Patti Yackulic on Twitter said she would like to see a plethora of needs addressed simultaneously: crime, poverty, homeslessness, addictions, revitalizing downtown and the economy.
Sam Hue on Twitter also wants the focus to be crime, addictions, homelessness and revatilizing the downtown core.
Twitter user Terri said agreed crime, jobs, economy are top issues and so is the need for a catheterization lab at the Red Deer hospital.
Stephen Merredew on Twitter said he wants to see economic diversification, continued advocacy for the local hospital, support for safe consumption site and ensuring new courthouse is built on originally funded timeline.
Several Facebook users took to the Advocate’s Facebook page Monday and most of them agreed crime should be main focus in the new year.