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City of Red Deer

Red Deer RCMP and City of Red Deer introduce Integrated Downtown Policing Unit

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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.”

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City of Red Deer

City Council grinding out a solution for the site of a permanent homeless shelter

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Council approves Shelter Site Evaluation Matrix

A site criteria evaluation matrix will help guide the site selection process for the future shelter in Red Deer after being approved by City Council today. During Council meetings held on June 24, 27 and July 4, Council worked through multiple exercises to determine five criteria, 22 sub-criteria and the weighting assigned to each – making up the Shelter Site Evaluation Matrix as follows:
SITE CRITERIA SUB-CRITERIA POINTS PERCENTAGES
Ability to acquire site 20
Cost 40%
Zoning 15%
Timing 40%
General 5%
Adequate size 20
Adequate land size (outside/inside) 30%
Can accommodate purpose built/dignified spaces 20%
Can accommodate on-site/integrated services 30%
Future flexible/expansion opportunity 10%
General 10%
Broad community impact 24
Operational and Budgetary Impacts 17%
Alignment with Community Vision (Strategic Plan/Downtown Vision/Vision 2040) 25%
Impact to City Reputation 13%
Economic Impact 25%
Safety Impacts 17%
General 4%
Impacts to surrounding area 26
Impacts to businesses 23%
Impacts to downtown 19%
Impacts to Parks, Trails and Greenspaces 19%
Proximity to Schools 12%
Impacts to Residential Neighbourhoods 23%
General 4%
Access to services & supports 10
Access to transit and transportation 10%
Distance/proximity to supports/services 20%
Foot Traffic Patterns 20%
Enables delivery of 24/7 integrated service 20%
Enables delivery of basic amenities/services 20%
General 10%

Council approves Shelter Site Evaluation Matrix

In the above matrix, the sub-category identified as general under each criteria represents the remaining points allocated to the overarching site criteria.

“The site criteria evaluation matrix approved today will be utilized by administration and City Council to inform decisions about the future site of an integrated shelter in Red Deer,” said Lisa Perkins, Acting City Manager. “The process of developing this matrix has been all about our commitment to consider what we heard from the public, honouring the voice of the City Council in the development of the matrix and selecting a site for the future integrated shelter.”

Along with the criteria and weighting, Council adopted a resolution outlining conditions upon which City Council developed site criteria for the Shelter Site Evaluation Matrix. Ultimately, the site criteria within the matrix are the right criteria “if” the following are true:

  1. Shelter is for those who need short stay emergency housing. There are other services/facilities along the housing spectrum.
  2. Shelter is one site.
  3. Funding may limit scope.
  4. New services have potential to change outcomes.
  5. The permanent shelter will be a housing focused delivery model [(Per Council resolution Nov – 21) – GOA confirmed Jan 22]
  6. Shelter with wrap around services may not necessarily eliminate the need for those requiring shelter to access external services, to connect with community.
  7. There are innovative alternative delivery/service and systems that need to address the diversity of clients and impact on community.
  8. The shelter will operate 24/7
  9. The shelter will be designed to provide adequate spaces for short time stays that honour the dignity of each person
  10. There is a recognition and advocacy for the ongoing housing (eg. PSH & Affordable Housing) needs.
  11. Council will continue to have discussions with the Provincial Government on future Overdose Prevention Services/Supervised Consumption Services.
  12. A good neighbour policy will be developed.
  13. Community agencies are supportive of an integrated model and willing to work collaboratively towards this.
  14. The shelter would integrate or operate as many related services on site as reasonably possible.

These statements will be utilized to inform City Council’s advocacy position around the integrated shelter going forward.

“While the decision in front of City Council in the immediate future pertains specifically to site, we also know there are many conversations to be had with the Province of Alberta about other aspects of shelter including, but not limited to, shelter design, operations and service delivery,” said Mayor Ken Johnston. “We look forward to continued collaboration with our provincial colleagues as we work in partnership to ensure a safe place for our vulnerable citizens to access required services on their journey to permanent housing, which is beneficial for the whole community.”

In addition to the resolutions about the shelter evaluation matrix criteria, City Council resolved that administration will begin preparing a list of possible sites alongside a commercial realtor with Mayor Johnston and the Deputy Mayor providing Council perspective.

Administration will come back to City Council on July 18 to share an update with City Council about the site selection process.

For more information on the shelter project process, please visit www.reddeer.ca/shelter. Citizens and community partners wanting to receive updates on the shelter project by email can subscribe here.

 

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City of Red Deer

Dawe pool and gymnasium opening this weekend!

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Construction closure at the Dawe ends Sunday

Following an eight-week construction closure, the existing G.H. Dawe Community Centre will re-open on Sunday.

This construction was part of the overall G.H. Dawe Community Centre project, with the full facility expected to open in early 2023. Effective June 26 at 10 a.m., the facility will re-open. Most amenities will be available, including the pool and gymnasium. Drop-in schedules are available here.

Some exciting changes were completed during the closure. A fully accessible change room, a pool deck party room, updated steam room and sauna and a washroom for the pre-school area were added. We’re putting the finishing touches on these amenities and they will soon be available for use. We also added new acoustical paneling and an improved air handling system in the pool area. A significant amount of “behind the scenes” work was also completed to provide the required utilities and services for future arenas and fitness spaces.

As we continue to transform our spaces, construction will continue until full project completion in early 2023. We anticipate the impact will be minimal, but please note changes to these amenities:

  • The Fitness Room will not be available; some larger pieces of existing fitness equipment will be temporarily moved to the “mall area” until the grand opening of our new health and wellness spaces in 2023. Use of this equipment will require a daily admission or monthly pass.
  • Playing surfaces in the arena will not be available until construction is complete, which is expected to be early 2023.

Here are just some of the changes visitors will see when the facility is complete:

  • Two NHL standard ice surfaces
  • Expanded fitness area, with running track and two fitness studios
  • Outdoor spray park with washroom facilities
  • Additional north entrance + site access from 67 Street
  • Additional parking

For more information about the Dawe project and the closure, please visit reddeer.ca/DaweProject.

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july, 2022

thu14jul5:30 pm7:30 pmPregnancy & Loss Support Group - Zoom Session5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

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