Buchanan urges city council to revisit crime map debate

Red Deer city Coun. Buck Buchanan is not giving up the fight to have the city’s crimes plotted on a map.

Red Deer city Coun. Buck Buchanan is not giving up the fight to have the city’s crimes plotted on a map.

Buchanan filed a second notice of motion asking for the city to collaborate with the RCMP to explore the concept of crime mapping as a tool in the overall safety strategy on Monday.

His initial motion died on the floor on Jan. 19 because there was no seconder. Buchanan initially proposed working with the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre but city administration recommended changing the motion to working with the RCMP.

“It’s about awareness,” said Buchanan. “It’s not like it isn’t being done in other places or other jurisdictions with the RCMP (such as Kelowna and St. Albert).”

He said it is just a matter of releasing the information and the RCMP are not going to release the information unless they are advised by the city.

“The Crime Prevention Centre is going out in the communities and the things that are constantly coming up is ‘Can you tell us what is happening in our neighbourhood?’ ” he said. “And unfortunately we can’t.”

Buchanan was not part of the Jan. 19 discussion because there was a perceived conflict of interest. Buchanan said, in fact, some paperwork was mistakenly filed that put him on the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre board.

This time, Buchanan hopes he has the support of his council colleagues.

“I think the last time there was a little bit of misunderstanding,” said Buchanan. “I think certainly some of the councillors are understanding it a bit better now. Hopefully when we speak to it there will be support.”

On March 16, council will debate the motion.

Typically when a notice of motion fails, the mover or another councillor must wait six months before it can be brought back to council.

Because the motion was not discussed on the floor, it did not “virtually exist,” enabling someone to bring it forward again without waiting six months.

In other council news:

l The City of Red Deer agreed to loan $2 million to the future host society of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

l Council adopted an updated Economy Charter for the City of Red Deer. It was originally adopted in July 2013. The long-term work plan consists of three roles, including led, co-ordinated and advocacy strategies. It focuses on maximizing Red Deer’s position in the province, diversifying the economy, and an emphasis on small business and downtown revitalization. It also places emphasis on approaching development from multiple perspectives.

Mayor Tara Veer said the community has lots of ideas and dreams for where they would like to see us progress but we can’t just rely on annual increases in the tax base alone to do this.

“We recognize that we need to protect and enhance Red Deer’s competitive positioning in our region and our province for new business growth attraction, expansion and retention,” she said.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

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