Results from Elections.RedDeer.ca
A new era begins with Mayor Ken Johnston at the helm after an overwhelming victory for Johnston as he outpaced all his competition combined, picking up over 50% of the votes cast in the Mayoral Election.
In the ultra competitive race for council seats, Michael Dawe led the way while Cindy Jefferies breezed back onto council picking up the second highest number of votes. After Dianne Wyntjes, newcomer Bruce Buruma managed to pick up the fifth spot, squeezing between incumbents Lawrence Lee and Vesna Hingham. Former Red Deer Rebel Kraymer Barnstable worked his way onto council finishing seventh. Victor Doerksen has successfully re-entered political life. The former Red Deer South MLA edged out 21 other candidates for the 8th spot on City Council. Chad Krahn, Sadia Khan, Dax Williams, Janice Somer, and Jason MacDonald lead the pack of newcomers who didn’t quite break through in this election.
Matt Gould made a great impact with voters catching a seat on the Red Deer Public School Board in a very competitive election.
And Monique LaGrange is a new Red Deer Ward representative on the Board of Trustees for Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.
Red Deer RCMP and City of Red Deer introduce Integrated Downtown Policing Unit
News release from Red Deer RCMP
Today the Red Deer RCMP’s Downtown Patrol Unit officially welcomed their two newest policing partners to the unit; two Community Peace Officers (CPO) with enhanced duties.
“The addition of these two new CPO resources will enhance our policing presence, improve safety, and have a positive impact on the downtown overall,” says Supt. Holly Glassford.
The pilot project is a joint initiative between the Red Deer RCMP, City of Red Deer Municipal Policing Services, and the Government of Alberta. The Province enhanced CPOs’ authorities to allow them to investigate certain criminal code files including Theft under $5000 and Mischief under $5000.
“In some respects, they will have comparable duties to their RCMP counterparts. They will investigate incidents, collect evidence, and provide proactive and responsive enforcement of City bylaws, provincial statutes and some criminal codes,” says Peter Puszka, Municipal Policing Superintendent. The two CPOs will also have access to policing tools and databases not typically available to Peace Officers.
Since 2018, Red Deer’s downtown has had a dedicated Downtown Patrol Unit (DPU), focused on improving safety through increased police visibility, proactive enforcement, decreasing property crime and criminal activity, and developing relationships with the residents, businesses and social agencies downtown.
“Our downtown unit has been doing a tremendous job with such a substantial mandate, and they’re really making an impact in our downtown core,” says Supt. Holly Glassford.
In 2021, the DPU conducted 2,219 investigations of which 64% were self-generated files identified during proactive patrols, and the other 36% were in response to calls from the community. This led to 784 arrests, 493 Criminal Code charges, 470 weapon seizures, 37 ounces of illegal drugs seized and 1,061 tickets issued.
During the RCMP’s latest community consultations and survey, participants indicated that there were still issues about the perception of safety in the downtown, and that safety was a barrier to visiting the downtown.
“Council and I are committed to working towards the enhancement and revitalization of our downtown,” says Mayor Ken Johnston. “This innovative, one-of-a-kind initiative will increase feelings of safety and security amongst those working, living and enjoying our downtown.”
City reaching out to tax payers about location for permanent homeless shelter
Public participation about permanent shelter site criteria approved
“While site selection is not part of the formal agreement between The City and the Province, we believe that the Province will support a recommendation in good spirit as part of a shared responsibility to providing shelter services in our community,” said Mayor Ken Johnston. “When citizens come to the table to discuss criteria, we ask that they come with an open mind. Consider all the factors in selecting a location, not just proximity to your home, your business, your property. The permanent shelter will not be what we currently have, it will be an integrated shelter for our vulnerable population to access services that will support them on their journey to permanent housing.”
Administration will begin a public participation strategy and begin implementation within the coming weeks. The resolution approved by Council outlined the following deadlines:
- June 20, 2022: conduct timely, strategic, solution-focused community engagement about site criteria prior to this date. Inclusive of in-person and online opportunities to provide input to be promoted.
- July 18, 2022: Council to agree to a location to recommend to the Province on or before this date.
“We are beginning public participation based on the understanding our community wants to help us to address shelter needs. We are starting with a clean slate when it comes to actual location,” said Interim City Manager Tara Lodewyk. “We recognize that some citizens will want to propose specific locations but we want to dig deeper to understand why. We will be asking further questions – why do they think that site is a good option, what does it have that would make it the right place and see how that aligns or builds upon the criteria we already have in place.”
In the coming weeks, The City will share public participation opportunities with the community through social media, local advertising, website updates and email notifications. If residents would like to be added to the email list for updates on the public participation and general permanent shelter information, please email [email protected]. More information about the permanent shelter process can be found at www.reddeer.ca/shelter.
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