Eleanor Evans at city council asked for ten measures to make Cold Lake safer on Tuesday.
A packed house of approximately 50 Cold Lake business owners and citizens came to city council on Tuesday as part of a delegation asking for rapid change to make the city safer.
Eleanor Evans presented to the councillors the community’s frustrations of those that crime is rising in the city and people are feeling less safe.
They asked council to hire security firms, more nightly patrols, while asking council to lobby the government for stiffer penalties and a town hall meeting before the month is over.
And they want it done by Feb. 15.
“Escalating criminal activity and violence is having a very frightening impact on our city. The sheer number of business owners who added their names to our list and those who braved the elements tonight to be at this emergency meeting is a testament to the severity of these problems in our community. We’re afraid. We’re fearful,” said Evans.
“People’s safety and security needs to become a number one priority in our city budget. Funds must be found or reallocated. People are angry.”
City council was sympathetic to the calls of action and will decide at the next council meeting what they’ll do with the requests.
However, precautions like crime deterrents, the judicial system’s catch and release program and a major backlog of case files for crown prosecutors, is out of the municipality’s hands and controlled by the provincial and federal governments.
Evans also advocated for neighborhood watch programs, a community awareness program, for schools to promote a sense of pride in Cold Lake and for local media to report crimes and the steps the city is taking to remedy the situation.
Cold Lake RCMP S/Sgt. Scott Buchanan and Sgt. Ryan Howrish, also in attendance, said there are plans to have a crime town hall in Cold Lake in February.
“Time is of the essence. Critical actions need to be taken immediately. We want boots on the ground by Feb. 15.”