Three assaults in Jamie Baxter Park committed by strangers to those who were assaulted are prompting a meeting between the District of Houston and the RCMP to consider better lighting.
The topic arose at the Dec. 6 District of Houston council meeting as an item in Cpl. Ryan Fillmore’s report of RCMP detachment activities for July to September of this year.
“These files are being actively investigated … focused on identifying and arresting the responsible offenders,” said Fillmore of RCMP actions.
He and District of Houston chief administrative officer Michael Dewar have confirmed a meeting will take place to discuss the opportunity to improve lighting in the park.
“The District wants to take necessary measures to provide a safe public space for all,” said Dewar. “I believe the RCMP want to foster a safe community for all.”
There are no budgetary measures yet to consider, he added.
As it is, the park is going through an extensive planning process with the intent of adding features and modernizing it in recognition of its key recreational role within the community.
One modernization measure under consideration is having a trail connecting Mountainview Drive with the downtown core via a route through the park.
City staffers have already emphasized the benefits lighting would mean for accessibility and safety.
Other highlights from Fillmore’s third quarter report include:
– Continuing to have a police officer go out regularly with a Northern Health worker to visit people who may need services but who aren’t aware of those services or who need help lining them up.
“The partnership has seen success in connecting individuals with resources at the health centre,” wrote Fillmore.
– Officers are also going to lunch programs at Houston Link to Learning and Love by the Bowl to better connect to vulnerable or high risk individuals.
– An officer has been assigned to the local situation table which is a regular gathering of local social services and other officials designed to ensure individuals needing assistance receive it from the right agency and in a quick fashion.
– Search warrants in September resulted in cash, weapons, crystal methamphetamine and fentanyl be seized. Charge recommendations are now before the federal prosecution service.