'There's a lot of passion': Regina Board of Police Commissioners host community engagement town halls

A string of town hall events, hosted by the Regina Board of Police Commissioners, are giving citizens in different neighbourhoods an opportunity to bring forward major concerns.

On April 28, the board hosted its first event in the core neighbourhoods and it’s second on Tuesday in The Greens.

“We see the crime stats, we know the level of reporting and the severity of the crimes differs across the community,” said Mayor Sandra Masters. “To really understand from the community’s perspective and what they could use to feel safer.”

Masters said some issues affecting the core areas are much different than those seen in other parts of the city. But there are common concerns throughout the city.

“Issues like lighting, transit, community programming are all things the community is looking for,” she said.

At the Tuesday night town hall, residents of The Greens brought up traffic related issues such as speeding, racing and stunting as being among their most crucial concerns.

Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said while the Regina Police Service (RPS) sees complaints, the feelings in the community are better felt in a setting like a town hall.

“You don’t get passion in an email unless it’s in all caps,” he said. “Here, you can hear how it’s affecting people. Whether loud mufflers or being worried about children crossing an intersection going to school. There’s a lot of passion in what people are saying.”

This is the first time the Board of Police Commissioners has conducted town halls, as a way to plan and strategize how the RPS can better serve the community.

“We’re meeting with you one-on-one. You know who we are,” said Ward 3 City Councillor Andrew Stevens during the event.

“There’s a certain amount of accountability and responsiveness and we can set those standards through this process.”

“It’s a chance for the public to engage directly with the commission as the governing body of the RPS,” said Masters. “It’s important to hear that first-hand.”

More town halls are being planned around the city. The city urges the public to visit its website to learn more about future events.