A grant of $931,000 has been handed to the city from Public Safety Canada.
The money will go to identify opportunities to reduce gun and gang violence.
The city is to seek a consultant to look at programs and non-profits that the funds should go to get the best outcomes over the next four years.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers indicates they will be examining ways to take full advantage of various program options.
“That money cannot be used for a fund like policing. But can it be used for other things? We believe it can be. So we are going to engage a consultant from the city which will be paid for from that grant funding to help guide us as to where we do prevention work, and try to get ahead of the curve rather than dealing with the aftermath of the curve.”
Aalbers says they want to tackle the challenges that lead to crime. He notes we live in difficult times. He explores the possible social options and programs that could be rolled out with input from societal groups including the police.
“They could be social intervention from that perspective; working certainly with the police and identifying areas of concern. I think areas that we do today that are already paying dividends are student resource officers, RCMP officers within our schools building rapport and helping young people.”
When the consultant is identified, the award of the contract will be brought back to council for a decision.