Additional funding has been dedicated to the Downtown Security Patrol pilot program.
In the 2021 budget, the City of Cold Lake allocated $90,000 for crime reduction initiatives and sought feedback from community. In consultation with businesses and the Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, City Council earmarked funding to establish a pilot program for a downtown security watch program. The Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce agreed to host the funding and pilot program.
The patrols act as an extra set of eyes, notifying business owners of open windows, doors, and gates after hours. As well, they take note of suspicious activity, and contact the police when appropriate. The pilot program was intended to solicit feedback from the community on its success and the establish options for funding such a program.
“Based on the current model, the funding for the project will run out at the end of October,” explained Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Nagoya. “So council has voted to allot additional funds to carry the program through to the end of January 2022.”
Council voted to commit an additional $45,000 to the pilot program.
The Chamber of Commerce has reported that the response from the business community has been very positive so far, with several letters of support submitted to City Council.
“The business community came to us for help, and this is how council has been able to respond,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We are hoping these additional funds will provide enough time to find a more sustainable solution, while providing uninterrupted service.”
Though the Chamber of Commerce has been seeking additional grant funding to keep the program going, they have been unable to find grants that include a security initiative as an eligible project. The cost of the program is $15,000 per month. In addition, the City is researching funding support mechanisms in consulting with the business community and the Chamber of Commerce, which will be discussed at a future council meeting.