Buchanan demands greater security for city assets

Red Deer city Coun. Buck Buchanan got all fired up about the security at city-owned buildings and properties.

Red Deer city Coun. Buck Buchanan got all fired up about the security at city-owned buildings and properties.

Buchanan took issue with the city’s plans to spend $40,000 to develop a corporate security program on the second day of operating budget presentations on Wednesday.

Buchanan questioned the low priority placed on something he said is critical to the security of people, information and finances in city operations.

Director of Corporate Services Paul Goranson said the dollars will help them move forward in developing mid-to long-term security strategies.

“Some of the things that are happening in our world and in Canada does put more emphasis on the need for different focuses of security,” he said.

Buchanan said the work is not being done fast enough.

“It’s critical in everything we do,” said Buchanan. “We talk about our assets. We talk about our financial . . . yet it is running off the corner of someone’s desk. I am wondering at this slow pace. When do we up the ante.”

Lisa Perkins, director of corporate transformation, said the city has a corporate security team which represents finance, information, technology services, buildings, assets and other areas. The team has policies and reporting processes in place, similar to what the city does around health and safety.

She said as the city has found best practice opportunities to improve safety when doing building renovations such as at the Civic Yards buildings and the G.H. Dawe Centre and the Recreation Centre.

Security plans have been built into most city buildings and facilities.

Buchanan said this highlights the need for an organizational review. He said if planning and legal services can be brought in house than a corporate security division is possible.

“Like any other program or service as the needs grow, how we choose to offer that service could be using in house, external, consulting, embedded within an already existing area,” said Perkins. “I think that needs to be determined. Again form follows function.”

The security issue came up during the Corporate Division presentation.

Funding adjustments in the division will cover core maintenance, growth and amenities and increased costs due to regulatory changes.

Corporate Services/General requests:

Amenities and growth contributions (based on growth assessment from previous year for capital fund) – $1.1 million

Legal Services due to raising costs and demand – $136,000

Financial Sustainability for initiatives which may need additional research – $50,000

Computer Aided Design Software Upgrade – $41,500

Grants part-time position – $47,500

Council administrative support – $24,588

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