City of Calgary hands out $1.9M in public safety grants

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Outreach, police station recommended to improve safety in Downtown Calgary
WATCH: A panel tasked with finding ways to improve safety in downtown Calgary is putting forward its first recommendations for the city to act on. Adam MacVicar reports. – Jan 11, 2024

Civic partners in central Calgary are getting $1.9 million in municipal funds to improve public safety.

On Tuesday, the city announced seven organizations were getting the recently-approved funds to help improve experiences in and around their facilities. It’s the latest in strategies and plans city council has approved in an effort to improve safety.

“One of the things that civic partners pointed out to us is that they’ve seen increased concerns around security and making sure that people that are coming to visit the locations are having a good experience,” Mayor Jyoti Gondek said.

The city said the funds to the following organizations would go towards improvements like new lights, cameras and security staff:

  • Calgary Public Library Board: $750,000
  • Contemporary Calgary Arts Society: $207,499
  • Arts Commons: $185,955
  • Fort Calgary Preservation Society: $130,000
  • MNP Community & Sport Centre: $85,000
  • Calgary TELUS Convention Centre: $484,400
  • Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research: $50,000
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“We are pleased to see the city increasing resources for downtown partners who continue to manage challenging safety issues,” Sarah Meilleur, CEO of the Calgary Public Library, said in a statement. “These additional funds will help us to expand staff training, enhance existing safety tools and increase security staff capacity.”

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Civic partners had to apply for the grants and one of the criteria was that facilities be city-owned.

“Our civic partners provide important programs and services downtown and near transit and contribute to the vibrancy of our downtown. We want to ensure they can focus their resources on providing their essential services,” Lori Kerr, manager of major partners, said.

The mayor said the latest funding grants should work well with the project to better integrate communications between transit peace officers, bylaw officers, Calgary Police Officers and outreach teams.

“It’s that combined approach to safety and public well-being that has worked very well,” Gondek said. “When people are in positions of crisis, the right person is responding to that call, and that way we’re able to deploy our resources in the best way possible.”

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