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Downtown Task Force provides update to Committee, Community

Fire safety awareness, graffiti abatement, crime prevention through environmental design, using data collection and outlining roles of various City of Lethbridge departments are among the topics that have been explored by the Downtown Lawlessness Reduction Task Force to date.

The Task Force’s purpose is to establish a cross functional team to share knowledge and expertise – while also developing solutions and best practices. It includes delegates from the Downtown BRZ representing the small business, large business, real estate, development and administration sectors, as well as members of Lethbridge City Council, and representatives from the Lethbridge Police Service, Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services, Community Social Development, Regulatory Services, Opportunity Lethbridge and Communications & Engagement.

At the Safety and Social Standing Policy Committee meeting on Thursday, Hunter Heggie, Chair of Downtown Lawlessness Reduction Task Force, issued a submission to showcase a recap of the work to date.

“While the ongoing social issues are of course being felt elsewhere and are not exclusive to Downtown Lethbridge, we certainly have been, and continue to be, directly impacted on a daily basis – so we want to help find solutions,” says Heggie. “We still have a lot we want to accomplish, but this Task Force is off to a great step in the right direction.”

“Today’s update provides a fulsome overview of the all the work already done or underway by the Downtown Lawlessness Reduction Task Force for the betterment of our community,” says Councillor John Middleton-Hope, Chair of the Safety and Social SPC.

Since its inception in December 2023, the Downtown Lawlessness Reduction Task Force has done and are doing the following (each hyperlink has more detailed information): 

  • Working with Lethbridge Police Service to further analyze data on crime on the Downtown Area
  • Ongoing discussion with LPS on how they utilize their various resources and roles available through Lethbridge Police Service, including outlining the roles of the Lethbridge Police Downtown Policing Unit, Property Crimes Team, Crime Suppression Team, Community Peace Officers and Watch Program
  • Working with Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services to further analyze data on Downtown Fire Safety Awareness, which also provides tips on education and prevention of fires. There is also ongoing discussion regarding response and investigation, plus biohazardous material management, and on LFES responding to overdoses
  • Working with the Community Social Development team to inform the public on the role of Community Social Development
  • To further inform the community, continued discussion with Regulatory Services on Bylaw 6280 and derelict properties, as well as on a series of Downtown Clean and Safe Initiatives through the Encampment Response Team, Encampment Focused Outreach Services, Diversion Outreach Team, Clean Sweep Program, Downtown Education Program, and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
  • Ongoing work with Urban Revitalization to inform the public on the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Grant, a matching grant that provides up to $5,000 towards improvements that enhance security and crime prevention measures. It has been used for fencing, lighting, security cameras, and roller shutters, among other uses
  • Working with the Downtown BRZ to inform the public on its Graffiti Abatement Strategy, including outlining the process for removing graffiti from private buildings and properties with the Downtown
  • Ongoing discussion with the Blood Tribe Department of Health and Lethbridge Housing Authority regarding shelter and housing in Lethbridge
  • Ongoing discussion regarding the Community Safety Engagement What We Heard Report, which is a needs assessment of the Downtown core and has six key themes identified (community safety and public spaces; homelessness and addiction issues; impacts on local businesses; community investment and urban planning; police presence and response; and clean streets, sidewalks, and public facilities)

Downtown Lawlessness Reduction Task Force meetings are held twice a month and are open to the public. Agendas will be posted here: Home - OnBase Agenda Online (

On December 12, 2023, the Downtown Lawlessness Reduction Task Force was created as a sub-committee of the Safety and Social SPC by City Council. At that meeting, the Terms of Reference were approved, and two members of Council were appointed to the sub-committee. 

This sub-committee is advisory in nature and is not assigned a specific budget. A review is to be done prior to December 31, 2024.

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