Enhanced security patrols in commercial districts will continue until the end of the year, after City Council voted unanimously to extend funding for the Commercial Security Program.
The pilot project was started in May 2021 as partnership with the Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, to act as an extra set of eyes for the business community, particularly during the night. Since then, Council has twice provided bridge funding to keep the program operating.
“We know that these increased security patrols are having an impact, especially in the downtown area,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “Council felt that it was important to extend the funding for this pilot until the end of the year, so we can make some decisions about the future of the program, how it will be funded in the long term, and whether or not the patrols should be expanded even more.”
Council committed $90,000 to cover the cost of patrols until December 31, 2022. The Cold Lake and District Chamber of Commerce will continue to hold the contract with a security provider for 60 hours of security patrols per week. The patrols are divided between day and night shifts and conducted at random times. Security officers monitor commercial areas for suspicious people and vehicles, vandalism, and security risks such as open windows or unlocked gates. Information is passed along to Cold Lake RCMP and Municipal Enforcement as necessary.
“We held two open houses to discuss this program in April and we heard loud and clear from our business community that they strongly support the continuation of this program and many are in favour of ramping up patrols even more, if a funding agreement can be reached,” said Copeland. “Currently the patrols are focused primarily on the downtown and commercial areas in Cold Lake South, but we’ve also heard from business owners in the north that they would like to see the initiative expanded there as well. These are all things that will be discussed now that we have another six months to continue testing the program and determine how it can best be operated and paid for.”
Council funded the $90,000 extension from its contingency reserve. The April 14 Commercial Security Pilot Project open house presentation is available for viewing here.