Safety & who to call
|When there is:||Call:|
|An emergency||911 for police, fire & ambulance|
|Crime or illegal activity||250-762-3300 for the Kelowna RCMP|
|A safety concern downtown||250-470-9058 for the Downtown Patrol (DKA)|
|Safe needle disposal|
in public spaces or outside private residences
|250-469-8801 (needle collection option) for the Fire Department|
|A bylaw issue||250-469-8686 for Bylaw Services|
|Graffiti||250-469-8600 (option 6) for the graffiti hotline|
We recognize that there are issues in our community and we are doing what we can as a city to address the challenges our community is experiencing. We are not alone in this situation. Similar challenges are being faced by municipalities throughout BC and across Canada.
What is being done to address safety
We are focusing on the enforcement of criminal activity, increasing street cleaning/addressing litter issues, and connecting people who need help with support services. We work closely with numerous partners including the Kelowna RCMP, Downtown Kelowna Association and Interior Health to balance the security needs of all residents in our community.
The city has also hired former BCMP Superintendent Bill McKinnon to work with senior levels of government, social service agencies and community organizations to find ways to ensure the public feels safe on our streets and to develop recommendations on how best to tackle the complex conditions that contribute to a lack of public safety. Watch for Bill's report to Council by the end of the year.
City public safety initiatives
- Added 35 Kelowna RCMP Officers since 2012 (including four in 2018) and eight Police Services support staff since 2015 (five in 2018)
- Six City Bylaw Officers added in the past year (two in 2017, four in 2018)
- Dedicated Bylaw Officers allocated to patrol downtown (Lawrence Ave. and Leon. Ave. areas) from 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Paladin Security patrols the downtown area (Stuart Park/City Hall/Kasugai)
- BC Transit has a regular patrol of the Queensway bus loop
- Joint RCMP/Bylaw bike teams patrol downtown and surrounding areas July – September (four teams for 2018, up from two teams in 2017)
- Actioned a Police and Crisis Team (PACT) which combines an RCMP officer and a mental health nurse as a team who intervenes in calls where suspected mental health concerns exist.
- The team is trained to find an appropriate resolution, reducing visits to the Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) and police cells
- This continues to be a successful model resulting in providing efficient, compassionate and effective enforcement.
- City staff conduct park and beach sweeps daily
- Four to eight daily checks (includes clean-up, landscaping, watering and general maintenance) of downtown parks and beaches (Stuart Park, City Park, Waterfront Park, Tugboat Bay) depending on the season
- Park Ambassadors (two) monitor parks and engage with visitors throughout the summer months
- Where it is warranted (for example in public washrooms), Park Services staff can install a safe needle disposal box in the park/area. While some believe that this condones illegal drug use, it has found to be a successful measure in keeping drug paraphernalia off the ground
- Downtown core (Richter to Abbott and Hwy 97 to Knox Mountain) is swept twice a week in addition to spring street sweep (approx. March to mid-May, weather dependent); pressure washing takes place when necessary
- Inspections take place daily
- Two City staff work maintenance over the weekend and additional staff are provided for clean-up after special events
- City has a vacuum curb/gutter sweeper that operates every second working days, cleaning in the early morning
- Majority are in the downtown area, primarily in the City parkades
- Since installation, our private security contractor, Paladin Security, has noted that they have the increased ability to intercept individuals prior to a disturbance/illegal activity taking place, particularly within the parkades