The City of Kelowna is adding more police and bylaw officers on bikes to patrol downtown over the summer. —YouTube

Kelowna increases downtown safety with more cops and bylaw officers

City says with more people downtown in summer there’s a need for increased safety measures

The City of Kelowna is ramping up its summer safety program downtown.

The city says it recognizes the importance of safety to residents, businesses and visitors and with summer in full-swing, and more people downtown, more resources are needed to keep everyone safe.

“We recognize that there has been an increase in concerning issues, including around City Park and Leon Avenue,” said Joe Creron, deputy city manager. “The situation in downtown Kelowna is not unique and is seen across Canada. We’re continuing to invest in resources to ensure that our downtown continues to offer a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.”

The annual move comes just days after an altercation at the Queensway bus loop downtown that resulted in a 23-year-old man dying of stab wounds. Esa Carriere died following the altercation late July 1 just as the annual Canada Day fireworks display ended nearby.

From now to September, four joint RCMP/bylaw bike teams will patrol the downtown and surrounding areas. Acting as “eyes on the street,” the rider will patrol seven days a week.

The city says the public will also notice more officers patrolling the streets on foot and in cruisers for increased safety.

Their efforts are supported by City of Kelowna park ambassadors and Downtown Kelowna Association ambassadors who provide a visible presence and resource for people seeking assistance.

The 2018 city budget added four more RCMP officers and four more bylaw officers to provide an enhanced security presence downtown. Those positions are currently being filled.

“We are committed to reducing crime and recognize that in order to succeed in making Kelowna safe, we need to continue to work with community partners to develop ongoing strategies in prevention, education and treatment,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesman for the Kelowna RCMP.

“The incidents that have occurred in City Park and the downtown area within the past few weeks are being actively investigated and dealt with.”

In addition to enforcement, the city says it also values and understands the need to provide services to its most vulnerable population—the homeless. It has taken a leadership role in facilitating the development of the Journey Home Strategy which was endorsed by Council on June 25.

The strategy works alongside the Kelowna’s Healthy Housing Strategy to address council’s top priorities of homelessness and housing diversity. Focusing on partnerships, land contributions, policy, zoning, grants and incentives, the strategies align to facilitate more affordable housing in Kelowna. This includes subsidized housing, rental market and home ownership.

Last month, construction of 46 units of modular housing with 24/7 support services began on Commerce Avenue. This housing, a B.C. Housing project, will offer people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness the stable home they need, so they can focus on other areas in their lives.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Cooler temps today, but no rain in forecast until August

Environment Canada does not have good news when it comes to fighting fires in the Central Okanagan.

Updated: Evacuation order downgraded to alert for properties near Peachland

Crews continue to battle the 1,000 hectare Mount Eneas blaze south of Peachland

Fire command centre relocating from Penticton to West Kelowna

Firefighting resources to be concentrated out of temporary camp

Lake Country firefighters lend a hand to combat 1,000 hectare blaze

The Mount Eneas wildfire remains out of control south of Peachland

Updated: Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Summerland campfire ban issued

Ban took effect at noon on Friday to reduce wildfire risk

Ban imposed on vehicle access to Kalamoir Regional Park

Precaution taken due to high fire hazard

Power affected by wildfire

Approximately 244 B.C. Hydro customers west of Summerland affected by the power outages

VIDEO: How to throw a frisbee

Ultimate frisbee player Amy Mackay shows off the proper technique

Summerland Stomp cancelled

Wildfires in area lead to cancellation of event at Summerland Rodeo Grounds

Site C dam project plagued by problems: expert

E. Harvey Elwin expresses concern about internal BC Hydro and government documents

Tigers complete series sweep

Vernon grounds Kamloops 12-9 for Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League playoff title

Five small fires burn east of Oliver

At least one of the fires is suspected of being human caused

Most Read