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Five focus areas in new Community Safety and Well Being Plan

Representatives from more than 20 community agencies met last week at the Community Centre in Picton to launch the second version of the Prince Edward County Community Safety and Well-Being Plan (CSWB).

In 2018 the province of Ontario mandated all municipalities in Ontario must create a Community Safety and Well-being Plan designed to guide improvements to safety, health and welfare of its community. Each plan is to be formulated on actual community data and statistics which examine specific risk factors within the community.

Local agencies with quality data collection programs were called critical partners in filling in gaps in regional data. The County Foundation’s Vital Signs data bank was a
valuable source of data for the plan, along with agencies such as Alternatives for Women, the Prince Edward County Affordable Housing Corporation, PEC Community Care for Seniors, All Welcome Here and others so that the plan could prioritize local data wherever
possible.

The meeting at Picton was hosted by CSWB Plan facilitator Lauri Prest, and councillor Janice Maynard, who is also the Chair of the PEC Police Services Board.

The 2022-2025 plan focuses on five priorities: Housing and Homelessness, Seniors Support, Poverty Reduction, Mental Health and Problematic Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence.

During Thursday’s meeting, the priority areas were reviewed and then the various community agencies divided themselves into the five “Action Teams” to begin discussions on next steps, meeting dates, and how they will each work toward their individual priority area goals.

Prince Edward OPP Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant John Hatch commented that it was, “great to see all the leaders from all community organizations coming together, to work together, all for one common goal … and that is Community Safety.

“I’m very excited to see how this Community Safety and Well-Being plan is going to improve Prince Edward County, help reduce calls for service for the OPP especially in relation to homelessness, fraud, domestic violence and mental health issues, and make PEC a safer place to live, work and play… in the years to come”.

Mayor Steve Ferguson, in his message in the plan outline, states an uipdat4ed plan is a welcome development.

“The COVID-19 pandemic deepened the impact of some pre-existing issues that our community faced, while also causing other concerns to emerge. Furthermore, significant changes within our community and the world around us have forced us to grapple with new and pressing challenges.”

Ferguson notes this second plan reflects “the new reality we face as we emerge from the global pandemic and continue on the path to recovery.”

The plan is the result of 10 months of collaboration among community partners, and follows the first plan which covered 2018 to 2021.

Rick Gwozdowski, chairperson of the CSWB advisory board, in his message, noted that by exploring gaps in service and barriers to safety and well-being in the community “we can create a healthier and more sustainable quality of life in Prince Edward County… and ensure that all residents have access to safe, reliable services and programs, including support for our most vulnerable.”

In 2022, Gwozdowski notes the Police Services Board and local OPP also worked on new strategies to decrease victimization and the number of calls for service.

“We focused on priority areas of the plan – domestic violence, homelessness and mental health We know that social disorder situations, rather than criminal activity, are the cause for most police calls in the County. With this in mind, we continue to focus on crime prevention and community well-being.”

The plan is also designed to work together with a variety of municipal plans and policies.

Click below to see the 61-page plan, which explain in detail the six priority areas and how they are being examined, and also contains interesting and informative background information.

Click here to see full 2022-2025-Community-Safety-and-Well-being-Plan

 

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  1. Dan says:

    Well done, Rick.

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