Community Safety: From Ideas to Actions
2019 promises to be a year of increased action for the Safer McCauley initiative. In 2018, many of you attended a McCauley Community Safety Meeting or engaged with Safer McCauley online. By doing so, you contributed directly to the vibrancy and safety of our neighbourhood. We appreciate your contribution. We would appreciate your ongoing input and the input of others.
Interactive tools to collect community knowledge and ideas are added to safermccauley.ca on an ongoing basis, allowing stakeholders to actively contribute at their own convenience. One exercise asks you to identify your priority safety concerns and will take only moments to complete. Another allows you to define a safer McCauley by answering twelve basic Criteria for Safety questions. Another quick exercise allows you to identify community assets and share your ideas for community-driven safety initiatives.
The website’s inclusive and democratic elements are a way for community members to influence outcomes. The knowledge and ideas collected are helping to determine how to focus resources. They are playing a central role in the development of community-driven solutions to safety concerns. In response to input so far, several initiatives are being activated or are under consideration. Some may address safety more directly; others may promote vibrancy and connectedness – and, in turn, safety.
The first Community Safety Meeting of 2019 will provide attendees an opportunity to prioritize proposed initiatives and discuss their mobilization. Subsequent meetings will include conversations focussing on Safe Consumption Services and Problem Properties. Look for a monthly Coffee with Cops – an opportunity for community members to sit down with EPS officers to discuss their concerns. Watch also for a safety signage campaign, designed to activate community members and direct traffic to safety resources. Plans are also underway for the development of positive street-level activities, walkabouts, community-connecting dinners, improved collective responses to garbage and stray needles, and increased EPS-youth engagement.
If you are reading this in time, join us on February 8 at Edmonton Intercultural Centre for Resource Connect 2019 – an annual event to connect McCauley service providers to one another, job-seekers, volunteers, and the community at large. Over 60 organizations are expected to attend to share information about their programs and services.
The best solutions to a community’s challenges come from within the community itself. Please consider getting involved in 2019. Attend a Community Safety Meeting. Visit safermccauley.ca and Safer McCauley on Facebook to share your thoughts, and connect with others who share your interest in creating a safer and more vibrant McCauley. And, don’t hesitate to share your ideas with me directly.
A connected community is a safer community.
_Mark is the REACH McCauley Community Convener. He can be contacted at email@example.com