Chilliwack – After extensive stakeholder engagement, spanning over 18 months, the Chilliwack Community Safety Plan, drafted under the guidance of the Mayor’s Integrated Community Safety Task Force (ICSTF), was presented to Council.
The vision for the Plan is “to build an inclusive, accepting, engaged, and sustainable community where all residents are safe, feel safe, and have a sense of belonging.”
The Plan identifies root causes affecting community safety, interagency service gaps, and priority needs. It features an action plan for collaboratively improving systems, through preventative efforts that are expected to have a far-reaching impact on improving community safety in Chilliwack.
The Chilliwack Community Safety Plan has five main goals, which will require ongoing collaboration between different agencies. These goals include:
- Improve safety and the perception of safety.
- Reduce the stigma around homelessness, mental illness, and substance use.
- Set up a full range of social services to meet local needs and help people use a variety of services.
- Improve the capacity of the justice system to seek and approve criminal charges.
- Increase focus on early interventions and trauma-informed practice.
In addition to a Plan, The City will establish a Community Safety Governance Committee to support and monitor the implementation of the Plan. Ongoing collaboration amongst multiple agencies and strong advocacy on the part of the City and its partners will be required as part of the Plan, making such oversight necessary.
“I would like to thank Councillor Mercer and former Mayor Clint Hames for the work they have put into the development of the Chilliwack Community Safety Plan as Chair and Vice-Chair of the task force,” said Mayor Ken Popove. “Chilliwack is a community that is known for effective interagency collaboration, specifically through Chilliwack’s Homelessness Action Plan, and I know the same type of collaboration will have a positive impact on community safety.”
“The City of Chilliwack is committed to public safety and we look forward to continued interagency collaboration as we work together to support the diverse needs of our community,” said Councillor Mercer, Chair of the Integrated Community Safety Task Force. “Community safety is complex with multiple factors playing a role, and as a result, the Plan identifies many different organizations that must work together. I would like to thank the Province of BC, the RCMP, Fraser Health, BC Housing, and the various community groups that participated in the thoughtful creation of the Chilliwack Community Safety Plan. As we approve this plan and get to work, I would also like to reflect on the valuable contributions of the fantastic Mike Csoka.”