Safety and Security
Making Saskatoon one of the Safest Cities in Canada
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, September 14, 2016
Despite efforts made to date to reduce crime, Saskatoon continues to place in the country’s top 10 in most crime indices compiled by Maclean’s Magazine in their annual rankings.
“People want to feel safe in their neighbourhoods, in their streets,” says Kelley Moore, candidate for mayor in the October 26 civic election. “Ensuring safety and security is a fundamental responsibility of a government. Within the first 90 days as mayor, I will strike a Mayor’s Task Force that involves key business, indigenous, newcomer and community groups with a goal of becoming one of the safest cities in Canada.” This Task Force will cover the following at minimum:
Reducing crime isn’t easy. It requires a number of important steps. The first is acknowledging that there is a problem. “We cannot keep doing things the same way and expect different results. We need to address root causes of crime and find collective solutions.” Organizations such as the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance and the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies are creating a solid base of research in this field. There is much knowledge to bring to the collective table.
“I want to work closely through the Police Commission, Chief and Staff to undertake a full review of the current policing model and funding, set goals and identify the most successful strategies that have been used in other cities. We also need to diversify and widen citizen appointments on the Police Commission so we have a more comprehensive approach”, says Moore. “We have to be smart and strategic with a long-term view. And, we need to have a frank discussion about certain practices, like carding.”
Front Line Worker Support
One aspect of fighting crime that is rarely talked about is support for the front line workers. “First responders like fire and ambulance services, in addition to police services, see a lot of trauma, and need our attention. We need to take care of those who protect us from harm. It’s our responsibility that their counselling and other support needs are met.”
Building Strong Connected Neighbourhoods
Long-term strategies that are proven to work involve smart planning of neighbourhoods that strengthen the community. Neighbourly eyes on the street. Pedestrian activity. Local shops and destinations. Use of gyms by youth for after school activities. Cities can be designed to have less crime by building human connection. Moore’s urban planning and human service integration background will be a tremendous asset in strengthening neighbourhoods.
Short term strategies are equally important. “The presence of police officers in all our neighbourhoods, on foot, interacting and building relationships with residents, for example, is fundamental. Fast response is important. Listening to concerns of residents, gaining their local knowledge, will be part of that. We have a lot of work to do”, says Moore.
“As Mayor I will ensure that we create a strong, comprehensive emergency services plan. We need to strengthen the plan that is in place so that it addresses all the “just in case” scenarios such as extreme weather, noxious spills, contamination, epidemics and other catastrophes”, says Moore. “Safety is more than reducing crime. Given all the changes that are occurring in our environment, we must be prepared for all outcomes.”
Establishing clear priorities on how to allocate resources will require teamwork. “I have complete faith in the excellence of our police service, firefighters, social workers and our other front-line workers. We also have excellent community organizations that work hard to create safe spaces,” says Moore. “I look forward to engaging with all these groups to work together, toward a common goal of making Saskatoon one of the safest cities in Canada and most importantly, the safest city for its citizens.”
#ExpectMoore for Safety and Security
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