While there is no shortage of areas where the City can improve its service delivery, I would like to focus on one service in particular — public safety. Take a minute and ask yourself: what does public safety mean to you?

I believe public safety is everyone’s right and responsibility. You deserve to have peace of mind when you wake up in the morning, that your property will be as you left it. You do not deserve to be put in a position where the well being of you and your family are endangered. You have a responsibility to afford these rights to others. These simple principles all sound good, but we have to deal with the reality that sometimes these rights are infringed upon. So how do we address it?

Our current judicial system takes enforcement action, then expects people to learn their lesson, and those victimized to accept the verdict. If I told you that the person who broke into your vehicle was issued a fine, could you rest easy knowing that you are safe from here on out? Neither could I. That’s why I believe we need a more proactive approach, with a focus on the specific policing needs of the community.

Some of the patterns I’ve noticed are that Knottwood communities are experiencing property theft, while the adjacent communities in Millhurst are seeing panhandlers. Some of the concerns from Ritchie revolve around homeless camps, while Hazeldean residents have concerns regarding unsafe driving practices. This is by no means a complete list, but is meant to show that each neighbourhood is unique in their experiences and needs. This is why I have invited the Police Chief to Ward 11 to start a Community Policing Program in cooperation with Bylaw and our Community Leagues. I want this program to help streamline communication and provide timely and acceptable responses. I want you to know what tools are available and how best to use them, so we can better assist the Police and Bylaw to return your peace of mind.

We can do better.