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Prioritizing the heart of our community

June 16, 2023 8:32 AM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

The City continues to work with the community to make Downtown a unique and vibrant place to be. Through community consultation over the past number of years, Red Deerians have continued to voice their concerns regarding issues they’ve faced, and feelings of safety while visiting the core of our community. Responding to these concerns are a top priority for The City and its community partners.

“I’m proud of the work the police, our community, the businesses, and administration are all doing to achieve the vision of a resilient, prosperous and vibrant downtown,” said Mayor Ken Johnston. “Creating the downtown we desire cannot be achieved by one entity alone, but rather by working together. City Council truly believes that together, we can restore confidence and make our downtown a welcoming place for all.”

Officer in Charge of the Red Deer RCMP, Superintendent Holly Glassford provided an update on the direct actions being taken in the downtown to enhance public safety and address the social issues facing the downtown.

“We understand the community must feel safe in order to enjoy public spaces, visit businesses, and take part in the downtown experience,” said Supt. Glassford. “Since the launch of our Downtown Patrol Unit five years ago, our RCMP members and Community Peace Officers have been making their presence known, developing relationships, interacting with the community, and enforcing laws and bylaws.”

Last year, more than 60 per cent of the Downtown Patrol Unit’s files were self-generated, meaning that officers are identifying and resolving issues before a citizen is negatively impacted by unwelcome behaviours and criminal activity.

Superintendent Glassford also shared details about the Summer Visibility Operation which will include both General Duty and Specialized Units patrolling the trail network to proactively identify issues and increase police presence along this well-loved community amenity.

The Downtown Activation Playbook continues to guide administration’s work in supporting the downtown. The playbook was developed through consultation with more than 1,500 dedicated stakeholders, in 2021 and 2022; this community planning tool, is helping The City, downtown stakeholders and the broader community take actions to create a downtown that achieves a common vision for the area.

“There is more to come. A next piece of work we will be sharing soon is a brand for our downtown, which was one of the outcomes identified in the Downtown Activation Playbook. Brands are more than just visuals and pictures – it’s about creating an experience and having our community build and live that brand in our downtown,” said City Manager Tara Lodewyk. “I look forward to sharing with you how every single person can be part of downtown’s brand.”

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