DOWNTOWN SAFETY AND PRIDE BOLSTERED WITH NEW FUNDING
WINNIPEG – downtown safety and pride are being bolstered with strategic investment in enhanced foot patrol programs, litter cessation and graffiti removal, and an expansion to the Bear Clan Patrol Mayor Brian Bowman announced today.
“Despite the progress our city has made in reducing crime, public safety remains a concern for many residents,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Residents in our city still consider our downtown more unsafe than other parts of the city, and we need to continue working to address the safety concerns many of our residents have.”
The funding announced today provides $30,000 in additional funding to enhance safe walk and foot patrol programs operated by each of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, the West End BIZ, and the Exchange District BIZ representing a total investment of $90,000. These programs, each uniquely structured according to the needs of the neighbourhood being served, will be enhanced by a combination of expanded operational hours, additional staff, and upgraded equipment and training.
“The safety ambassador and foot patrol programs operated by these business improvement zones are a highly visible, well understood, and effective safety resource,” said Mayor Bowman. “As well, these safety patrols provide a critical link between residents and the police, are an invaluable resource in providing conflict resolution support, and are a reassuring presence for many residents.”
An investment of $13,359 is being provided in support of the Bear Clan Patrol to purchase various capital items such as radios, cellular phones, and an automated external defibrillator (AED) to support the Bear Clan Patrol’s expansion into Winnipeg’s west end neighbourhood.
“The Bear Clan Patrol is an inclusive movement making an important contribution to our city,” said Mayor Bowman. “I am pleased to have identified them as the Charity of Choice and benefactor of partial proceeds from the State of the City Address last year, and I am pleased to be able to support their plans to expand their services beyond Winnipeg’s north end community.”
Also included in today’s announcement is an investment of $90,000 in Take Pride Winnipeg to support several of their programs including litter cessation and graffiti control, their mural program, as well as ensuring the Snow Angels program continues to be available next winter.
“For over twenty-five years, Take Pride Winnipeg has been helping to keep Winnipeg clean and beautiful, and has helped build our civic pride,” said Mayor Bowman. “Through education, programming, lots of elbow grease, and creative and innovative partnerships, Take Pride has demonstrated the significant difference we can make as a community when we work together.”
In addition to today’s funding announcement, Mayor Bowman noted the 2018 City of Winnipeg budget, adopted by Council in December, recommends the development of a multi-year downtown public safety strategy using funds available in the Destination Marketing Reserve.
The recommendation tasks the Public Service with preparing and bringing forward a report later in the spring outlining a strategy that includes enhanced outreach services, expanded foot patrols, and other security initiatives. The strategy is to be developed in consultation with the Manitoba Hotel Association, the Downtown BIZ, the Winnipeg Police Service, and the United Nations Safe Cities Committee of Council.
In addition to developing a downtown safety strategy, the Mayor noted the 2018 City of Winnipeg budget adopted by Council increased funding to the Winnipeg Police Service by $3.5 million or 1.2 percent from last year’s budget to support public safety across the city.
The new funding announced today, totaling $193,359, is being provided through the City of Winnipeg’s Civic Initiatives Fund.