Couns. Ryan Svendsen, Judy Dueck, Chelsa Meadus and Mayor Mike Morden at rally in Memorial Peace Park. THE NEWS/files

Maple Ridge looking to local experts for safety plan

Reaching out to UFV to get plan done in a year

Maple Ridge is reaching out to local experts as it tries to get its Community Social Safety Plan completed by January 2021.

Council at its Tuesday workshop will decide whether to appoint former Ridge Meadows RCMP officer-in-charge Fraser MacRae, a Maple Ridge resident, along with former managing-director of the Hope for Freedom Society, Rob Thiessen, to serve as consultants. They’ll join the community social safety project management team and will help develop public and business surveys that will help create the safety plan.

Thiessen said community safety is a broad topic. “Not only does there need to be public safety, but there needs to be the perception of safety,” Thiessen said. “And what’s missing in Maple Ridge is the perception part.”

Language now being used is that people are not feeling safe in Maple Ridge, he added. “I’ve heard it for decades about people not feeling safe when they actually are safe. I would say there’s a bit too much rhetoric of it not being safe.”

That being said, there are issues the city has to address, he added.

“But then, they (the city) need to convince the public that is the right way to go and this will make you safe, as we can make you safe.”

Thiessen said that he does relief work in Third World and said if people in Maple Ridge don’t feel safe, they should go to the rural areas of Indonesia or Malaysia. “We’ve got it made in the shade compared to the rest of the world.”

Council also will decide whether to waive its usual bid process that requires three separate quotes in order to speed up the process, and hire the University of the Fraser Valley to conduct a community safety survey under the supervision of criminology professor Irwin Cohen.

According to a staff report, Cohen has worked with other cities developing safety plans and will conduct his research based out of the Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research at UFV in Abbotsford.

Staff note that RCMP will be conducting similar work and the hope is coordinate some of the efforts.

The cost for the university research, public consulation and the consultants is expected at $100,000, which, if council approves, would come from the community safety reserve account which has an allotted $1.6 million. Another $155,000 has already been used to pay for earlier intiatives.

In addition to the surveys, an open house will take place some time in March with a draft safety plan ready by late next summer or fall.

As well, the city will use online, social media, videos and print measures for its public consultation process.

Council endorsed its Community Social Safety Initiative process and terms of reference for its Community Society Safety Task Force on Sept. 17.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Development of Onni’s park land amenity at least a year off

Pitt Meadows recreation master plan will determine land use, said Dingwall

Pitt Meadows approves 4.52 per cent tax increase

Average house will see property taxes up $144 per year

Maple Ridge bear cub helps launch Christmas fundraiser

Name is needed for #19, says Critter Care

Maple Ridge boy receives Variety Red Heart Award

Hammond elementary student has been volunteering with the charity

Being Young: Saying goodbye to childhood

Think of all the things I’ve lived to see.

Christmas concert at Maple Ridge secondary

More performances in the park this Friday and Saturday

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Surrey councillor wants the policing transition process to ‘immediately stop’

Brenda Locke to make motion at Dec. 16 meeting to reconsider current plan

Man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in 2017 Stanley Park stabbing

Lubomir Kunik was found by a man out walking his dog on the beach late on Feb. 1, 2017

Vancouver homeless camp brings community, safety, home, says resident

Encampment in the city’s Downtown Eastside is one of many that have sprung up in B.C.

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Most Read