Kelowna’s upcoming Community Safety Plan won’t be written by community members | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna’s upcoming Community Safety Plan won’t be written by community members

October 05, 2020 - 6:00 AM

Kelowna is working on a new plan to keep residents safe but won't include members of the public on the committee drafting the plan.

“I think we’re missing that outside voice,” City councillor Ryan Donn said in objecting to the structure of the committee. He was the only councillor who voted against the planning process.

The steering committee that will draft the plan is made up of senior, “decision making” members of agencies like the provincial government, non-profits and Interior Health, the city’s community safety directory Darren Caul told council.

The idea is to have a small committee that will work with the help of a consultant to shift public safety away from just the RCMP, Caul said.

Instead of having public input in the early stages, they will draw on comments people made during past initiatives such as Journey Home and Imagine Kelowna rather than go over the same territory again.

There will be a chance for public input once the plan is drafted in the spring.

“Crime and public safety are challenges confronting all Canadian municipalities and, for too long, communities have over-relied on police and the criminal justice system alone to reduce crime and victimization in our communities,” Caul told council. “Community safety cannot rest on the shoulders of police alone. We also need to address the root causes of crime and address the complex social issues. We need to focus on social development, earlier prevention and earlier intervention.”

He talked about working with education, social and health sectors rather than rely on police alone as well as collecting data to help direct the effort.

“We know that what gets measured, gets done,” he said.

The project may be delayed because of the provincial election and the availability of key members with the province but every effort will be made to push ahead quickly, he said.

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