Visitors and residents of Calgary’s downtown core are likely to notice more peace officers in the area over the next couple of years, thanks to a new initiative aimed at improving safety.
The Stephen Avenue Safety Hub is a central, downtown location where officers from the Calgary Police Service, Calgary Community Standards and Calgary Transit will co-ordinate their efforts as part of a two-year pilot project.
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The hub isn’t meant to be a police station, but instead a place where officers can complete paperwork, store equipment and have facilities such as restrooms.
“Over the past few years, we have been open to the conversation of a police facility returning to the core. However, the costs have been prohibitive, and it had not been part of our strategic facility planning given other pressures,” said District 1 Insp. Clare Smart.
“As a result, there had not been a feasible option for immediate consideration until we were presented with this generous opportunity. This facility will open doors to new possibilities, stronger partnerships and more community engagement.”
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The hub, located at 230 8 Ave. S.W., is rent-free for the organizations, with the space being donated for one year by Slate Asset Management and the Calgary Downtown Association.
Operational costs of $2.5 million over two years have been allocated by Calgary city council, the city said.
“The Downtown Ambassador program, a partnership between the city and the Calgary Downtown Association to provide a welcoming and safe presence downtown, is also being funded for the next two years.”
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The city said the hub will not be a public reporting place at any point during the pilot project. People should still report incidents through the non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, at the District 1 police station at 1010 26 Ave. S.E., or online. If an emergency is in progress, people are still advised to call 911.
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