The Regina Downtown Community Support Program was launched Wednesday morning.
The one-year pilot project will see teams of two people patrolling the downtown to resolve non-emergent safety and security issues.
Regina Mayor Sandra Masters says this program helps put people first.
“Extending help to individuals to find the services and support they need while also supporting our downtown businesses that are less-equipped or even unable to provide this help,” Masters said. “This is an initiative to meet our community members where they are at and to empower them to access the help that is available.”
Police Chief Evan Bray calls this a win-win scenario, and says officers normally dispatched to the downtown are often bogged down with these important, but still on-emergent issues.
“While we’re dealing with that, often our phone rings — we have a special phone for those officers who work downtown — and it’s a business seven blocks away who has just had someone commit a robbery, been involved in an accident, something like that,” Bray said. “Those officers are often quite torn.”
The City of Regina, the Downtown Business Improvement District and Regina Police are all teaming up to fund the support program. RDBID Executive Director Judith Veresuk says this team will be available on-call when needed.
“We request that folks continue to call the non-emergent line over at the RPS (306-777-6500) and they will have a dispatch line with our team,” Veresuk said. “Once things are vetted through the non-emergent line, they can deploy as needed.”
The support team is expected to be ready to patrol the downtown by June of this year.