Ward 9 take pride in the lack of crime compared to other areas in Edmonton. A great source for Edmonton's crime stats is http://crimemapping.edmontonpolice.ca/.
Public Safety can be categorized into many sub categories such as policing and bylaw enforcement, urban planning, development, and emergency services.
A key factor in keeping crime low within Ward 9 is zoning and household median income levels. There is a definite correlation between 'affordable' or subsidized housing and crime statistics. Ward 9 is one of the best (if not the best) areas of the city to live in. People choose this area knowing they will pay a little more but that comes with a few expectations. It's a safe bet to rely on the saying 'YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR'. For example:
A neighbourhood can be compared to this example.
The current development application to build subsidized/affordable housing could allow these properties to be built in Henderson Park, where some of Edmonton's most expensive properties are situated. The vacant green space has been declared as a surplus school site and the city is looking to potentially infill the area with subsidized housing.
ENGAGE the community and have their input matter. There are plenty of options that the community can develop by working with the city as a team, rather than the city making the determination without PROPER consultation. One option is to develop the surplus school site into senior housing. As Riverbend begins to age as a community, so do the residents within the community. I wanted to live in the Riverbend area from the time I was 15 and purchased my first home right in the heart of Terwillegar. I am not planning on going anywhere anytime soon and this is a shared mentality among some of our more veteran residents of the community. This will allow our senior citizens to live within the communities that they love.
Policing and Bylaw Enforcement
The Edmonton Police Service, the several branches of Community Peace Officers and our Municipal Enforcement teams are given a mandate, minimal training and supervision, and put out into the streets to deal with an incredibly wide variety of issues. This causes many problems such as being understaffed, untrained officers to deal with the tasks at hand and these officer are struggling to float somewhere between moral values, professional mandate, enacted regulations, public interest and digital or social media distortion.
Scenarios occur where the same Police officer who is dealing with assaults and robberies is dealing with speeding drivers on Anthony Henday Drive, blocking an intersection where a collision had recently occurred, online fraud/scam, credit card theft, and presenting to children.
Solutions are often managed by allocating roles that may directly and indirectly free up the officers so that they may resume 'policing activities within the City. We have Community Peace Officers in Edmonton. ALL of the surrounding municipalities such as Sturgeon County, St.Albert, Leduc City and County, and Municipality of Strathcona, including Sherwood Park have applied to the province to give them the same traffic authorities as other officers such as Traffic Sheriffs. These officers enforce traffic laws, can attend non-injury motor vehicle collisions, deal with minor mischief complaints, school D.A.R.E. programs and many other mandates that are currently under the Edmonton Police Service.
To solve an evolving problem, you need an evolving solution. Hiring more officers as the only solution will not solve this problem. The world of Law Enforcement doesn't mean just Police. I am not proposing any specific change but am showing my openness and willingness to take a more progressive approach at solving an evolving problem:
Photo Radar and Speed Limits
I would like to start by saying that I am a former law enforcement officer who had traffic as a mandate within my scope of work. Safety is one of the most important points within my campaign and balancing safety with efficiency within roadways is a key component within the campaign.
Let’s start with the facts: The major factors of fatalities in motor vehicle collisions are (in order) distracted driving, impaired, seatbelt-related and then speed. Most of Anthony Henday Drive has been engineered for 120 km/h and Whitemud Drive 100 km/h. 365 days in a year minus 105 weekend days and 9 holidays is 251 working days. Idling for 10 minutes in traffic every working day within a year is equal to 41 hours/a fulltime work week.
I would like to see speed limits of arterial roadways raised in areas that allow for it and lowered on residential roads from 50 to 40 or 30 km/h. I believe this will encourage more efficient driving on our arterial roadways and discourage “rat-running” (using residential roads as shortcuts) and unsafe driving within our neighbourhoods. This way our children can be safer in their home neighbourhoods and we can get to/from work more efficiently.
Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) or “photo radar” requires some minor changes to the procedures and mandated locations. I would fight to eliminate ATE from any freeway and encourage a higher presence within high pedestrian/cyclist locations, playground zones, and school zones. This would serve to encourage safer driving within our communities where the greatest danger to cyclist/pedestrian traffic exists. Major freeways are arterial roadways where the greatest top 3 factors for collision fatalities don’t include speed. Hiding behind a bridge or highway structure with a camera where you receive the demerit-less ticket in the mail, several weeks after the offence is not an effective tool in increasing public safety. I would even argue that driving 111km/h on an ideal day on a roadway engineered for 120 km/h in a country where many highways are regulated at this limit is not unsafe. I think it loses the confidence of the public in their city governance and is misleading. Police/Sheriff/Peace Officer presence and enforcement on these roadways can increase the safety and effectively tackle these dangerous acts