The Downtown Clean and Safe Strategy is a city-lead strategy that has been developed in collaboration with various stakeholders including:
This strategy was developed and presented to City Council in January, 2019 and includes 12 initiatives to address concerns about the cleanliness and safety of downtown Lethbridge.
1. Lethbridge Police Services Downtown Policing Unit - Composed of 1 sergeant and 8 constables that operate 4 teams of 2. The DPU will patrol on foot, bike when weather permits and also with a dedicated DPU van.
2. Lethbridge Police Watch Program - The Watch will consist primarily of community volunteers and is aimed at being reflective of the diversity of Lethbridge. The goal of The Watch is to provide an additional layer of safety to citizens by offering services such as safe walks and discouraging negative use through public visibility, de-escalation tactics and real time communication to the appropriate emergency services.
3. Downtown Hot Spot Security - Temporary program in place until the Watch Program is operational. This hot spot patrol will complement the Galt Gardens/SAAG/Casa security.
4. Public Facility Security - The City provides private security coverage for Galt Gardens, SAAG, Casa and a mobile patrol of the various parks in the City.
5. Diversion Outreach Team (DOT) Expansion
- This team provides transportation supports for persons vulnerable to homelessness or other street behaviours and who may be exhibiting symptoms of public intoxication or drug use.
6. S.A.G.E. Clan Patrol Team
- A patrol team tasked with engaging the aboriginal community through conversations, presentations and participation. The group has been responding to individuals that require assistance as well as other duties such as needle debris collection.
7. Needle Drug Debris Collection Program - This ongoing and expanded service helps to combat needle and drug debris issues through a needle collection program.
8. Clean Sweep Program (CPS)
- This initiative provides ongoing and expanded support for the Clean Sweep Program. CPS offers individuals experiencing homelessness the opportunity to engage in employment related activities such as cleaning up garbage, sweeping sidewalks, shoveling snow, needle clean up and other cleaning tasks.
9. Downtown Ambassador Program - This volunteer program will offer year round, on-the-street engagement and promotion with daily connections to businesses, residents and tourists in the downtown, providing a visible and welcoming presence.
10. Downtown Safety Education Program
- Designed after a successful Lethbridge Police and Downtown BRZ business watch program from 2001, this education program will support businesses and non-profits around the downtown in safety and security initiatives.
Built Environment Improvements
11. Mainstreet CPTED Grant Program
- This expansion of the municipal main street program provides matching grant funding for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).
12. City Department Tasks and Actions - The City of Lethbridge's various departments are continually attending to a variety of tasks and actions related to their departments operations which address keeping the downtown clean and safe.