Halifax Regional Council approved the recommendations of the Board of Police Commissioners in response to the Mayor’s Roundtable on Violence.
“There’s a lot in this report that HRM can’t do alone,” police Chief Frank Beazley said during the presentation of the action plan. “There are things you and I can’t do when we leave here today. We need partnership.”
That partnership is a commitment between the provincial and municipal governments to implement some of the recommendations in the action plan.
Justice Minister Cecil Clarke spoke to council briefly about the importance of community co-operation.
He said the government will soon announce a new strategy to combat drug crime, and a pilot drug court to relieve some of the strain on the justice system caused by the number of drug infractions passing through the courts.
Clarke said the province stepped up liquor inspections for bars and clubs as a result of the Mayor’s Roundtable on Violence, and will create legislation concerning training for bouncers and security guards.
Halifax Regional Police are working with representatives from the local universities to lower student drinking rates and find better late-night transportation away from downtown after bars close, Beazley said.
While late-night buses may be an attractive solution, Coun. Sue Uteck told council, it’s not an option for Metro Transit to start the service for at least five years.
Adding more taxi stands in safe locations downtown is on the list of recommendations.
The recommendations also include establishing a Public Safety Office made up of 32 police officers, 14 civilians and volunteers. The office will include existing services administered through Community Relations and Crime Prevention. The estimated $3.2 million budget will come from existing resources.
The province will fund the position of public safety officer, one of 250 new police positions to be created by 2011.