Kelowna mayor requests residents ‘work together’ to address city problems

“What I can tell you is we need to work together.”

The people at Kelowna’s city hall have opted to address concerns about the downtown with a video that highlights its crime-fighting efforts and ultimately asks community members to work together.

In the three-minute piece, Mayor Colin Basran acknowledges that the city, business owners, residents and tourists alike have concerns about drugs, the detritus that follows drug use, and the behaviour of people who are entrenched in a drug-lifestyle.

These problems, he points out, are not unlike what other cities face, however Kelowna is ramping up its efforts to deal with them because “everybody has the right to feel safe and welcome in our community.”

READ MORE: DOWNTOWN DRUG CRIME A CONCERN FOR MOUNTIES

There are three things the city is doing to address these issues, which include enforcing the law when criminal activity happens, stepping up street cleaning work and connecting people who need help with support services.

Basran also said that the city has made an investment in more private security, bylaw and bicycle patrol units on the streets.

The city has also spent more on security cameras and putting more public toilets in areas that need them.

Working with other levels of government, more supportive housing is also in the works, and more than 100 units of supervised housing will be built in the next year and 300 long term supportive housing units being built over the next five years.

“The reality is we can’t have enforcement officers and security officers everywhere,” he said. “What I can tell you is we need to work together.”

He points out that three levels of government are part of that solution, but it’s also incumbent on residents to “ be more aware of (their) surroundings.”

If there is any illegal activity or people who want to have a safe escort to their car when they’re feeling unsafe, he says to call 250-470-9058.

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