The City of Greater Sudbury’s finance committee has approved spending on increased security in the downtown core, but it still has to be voted on by council.
One city councillor, Geoff McCausland, strongly believes a mobile unit staffed by bylaw officers could take some pressure off police and increase the comfort level downtown.
The project will increase security at the transit terminal, Tom Davies Square, libraries, and other downtown facilities.
"We are hoping that this is going to be able to provide a greater presence and perhaps some comfort and security to the people using those facilities, and as well as staff," said McCausland.
The plan is for two bylaw officers, part of a mobile unit, to be on the beat from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., seven days a week.
"These are municipal law enforcement officers, which is sort of like the in between, between security and police. They would actually have the right to arrest, a couple of other rights underneath the criminal code, our bylaws, municipally, different things," said McCausland.
Justin Proulx lives downtown and thinks the project is a good idea.
"The more security, the better, not that I don't feel safe in the downtown area, but I do see certain circumstances where extra patrols or extra officers are needed," said Proulx.
The price tag of the additional security is $275,000, with the funding coming from a new source.
"It is part of a, higher levels of government have a revenue sharing program due to the legalization of cannabis. And so that funding can only go a couple of different things, to paramedicine, police, bylaw enforcement, and communications," said McCausland.
$50,000 of the total will be funded by the Downtown Sudbury Business Improvement Area.
If the pilot project is approved, there will be two bylaw officers with boots on the ground in the downtown core from April to November of 2020.