Crime Prevention Centre a possibility for Red Deer’s future

Discussion on Centre to take place during September workshop

City council will discuss the possibility of a crime prevention centre or other crime prevention strategies at an upcoming workshop in September.

Councillor Buck Buchanan submitted a Notice of Motion proposing a crime prevention centre in Red Deer to go along with the new policing model and review.

“In our strategic plan we have the safety piece of it and we talk about the most safe community through crime prevention,” said Buchanan.

City Manager Craig Curtis suggested through a resolution that Buchanan’s crime prevention centre be discussed at the workshop.

“My thinking was that you could have however long a discussion that you chose and have an opportunity to discuss it in full.”

Curtis agreed that crime prevention should be a major focus but said that it would be better suited to being discussed at the workshop where the entire idea can be worked out.

Colleen Jensen, director of community services, said in the policing model and review it was not worded specifically to be a crime prevention centre but to bring crime prevention agencies into the community.

“It was phrased that way on purpose. A crime prevention centre is just one way of bringing those agencies into the community.”

Additionally, the agencies that might go in a crime prevention centre would need to be discussed, said Jensen.

“Some of the ones that have been discussed include Neighbourhood Watch, Citizens on Patrol, Crime Stoppers and maybe even more on early prevention,” said Jensen.

Councillor Tara Veer said she thinks it would be great to see community agencies working together in a centre such as this, but that she is not sure about the level of funding that could be provided.

“Given what we know about the 2012 budget it wouldn’t be fair to allocate money to this when other charities get nothing.”

Buchanan’s Notice of Motion was defeated with seven opposing councillors. But the suggestion to take the idea to the workshop remained.

“Any information that comes from the workshop is just informing instead of directing the charters for the policing model and review,” said Councillor Paul Harris.

Council was supportive of the idea of taking Buchanan’s suggestion to the workshop and discussing it further but were not comfortable with passing it on Monday.

Stephan also said he thought Buchanan had identified a ‘gap’ in the policing study.

But Jensen said, “There is no real gap. From my view and the discussions there’s not a gap, it’s just not framed the way Councillor Buchanan thought it should be.”

Councillor Dianne Wyntjes said she also thought there was no gap.

“It’s not as focused as it could be. But I believe those discussions will come out later in the workshop and help us make a decision.”