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Taking a look at crime prevention: part two

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Last month I talked about updating residents on prevention efforts by the City of Winnipeg being a two-part update. It turns out I need three updates.  

My October update described an appreciation for the Winnipeg Police Service, but I expressed my belief that police cannot accomplish a lot of direct prevention work.  A recent review of the WPS described many proactive policing efforts instead of all reactive efforts. Chief Clunis is moving forward on proactive efforts, including partnerships with community groups and other governments.

The City of Winnipeg needs to provide more direct prevention dollars to our neighbourhoods — a subject which will be covered in part three.  For part two, let us look at what is funded from the city’s 2013 budget.

Much of the money goes to general recreation for all in Winnipeg. Community Services delivers on three objectives of the six in the neighbourhood revitalization 2013 budget of $5.986 million:

Objective 4: Facilitate the development of recreation services that are more responsive to the specific recreational needs of communities, with a priority focus on high-needs neighbourhoods.

Objective 5: Increase aboriginal youths’ participation in the overall city system through programs, services and employment.

Objective 6: Work in partnership with communities and other levels of government to develop and implement a continuum of crime prevention initiatives.

This budget covers high-needs neighbourhoods throughout the city, including William Whyte, Lord Selkirk, North Point Douglas, and Dufferin. Many aboriginal youth participate with the city within an aboriginal youth budget of $1 million.

A 2013 operations budget of $36.256 million goes to many recreational activities all over Winnipeg. The following community centres receive part of their money for operations and targeted staffing:

• Vince Leah Recreation Centre
• West Kildonan Memorial Community Centre
• St. John’s Leisure Centre
• Luxton Community Centre
• Ralph Brown Community Centre
• Sinclair Park Community Centre
• Norquay Community Centre
• Turtle Island
• Pritchard Park

Some Mynarski Ward schools have Winnipeg recreation programs running in the facility. Our Winnipeg indoor swimming pools are funded in this recreation budget.  Many wading pools and splash pads have city workers involved at the following facilities in Mynarski:

• Norquay Community Centre
• Pritchard Park
• Machray Park
• St. Johns Park
• Luxton Community Centre
• West Kildonan Memorial Community Centre

The City of Winnipeg has a grant to other organizations’ programs in its budget. In 2013, The United Way’s "Peg" Community Indicators ($40,000) and the Poverty Action Strategy ($50,000) were cut, taking away the city’s ability to understand where to take action on crime in difficult neighbourhoods. Here are the 2013 grants to organizations that can and do have an effect on prevention in Mynarski:

• Andrew Street Family Centre drop-in — $45,700
• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg — $12,000
• Block Parents — $17,563
• Citizens For Crime Awareness — $14,250
• Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg — $181,148

Please watch for next month’s update.  One effort needed in the Mynarski Ward is a safe 24-7 youth drop-in to avoid bad situations. Just south of the CP Rail tracks is Rossbrook House, which receives $256,339 from other grants, which helps support its 24-7 drop-in program.

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