Calgary’s downtown just got safer.
At least that’s the intended perception the city hoped to generate yesterday with the deployment of 25 new animal and bylaw services officers throughout the core.
“The single most important thing that a city can do for its citizens is to create a community where people feel safe and where they want to live with their families and I think that really does start in the centre city,” said community and protective services general manager Erika Hargesheimer.
Police chief Rick Hanson said Calgary is the lone city he can think of where all emergency services staff work together hand-in-hand to make the city safer, and it all starts downtown.
“People’s perception of the city is firmly embedded in the downtown,” Hanson said. “If the downtown is safe, then the perception is that the city is safe.”
It has been a natural evolution, said animal and bylaw services director Bill Bruce, noting each partner has an important role to play and he’s happy to have more feet on the downtown streets, seven days a week, to battle graffiti, litter and pathway safety.
“Our role can be put into just a few words,” Bruce said, “upholding the community standards.”