The City of Grande Prairie has started a "Report a Drug House" program. It's a cooperative effort modeled on an Edmonton program that I've spoken about before.
Some of the early results are in. This morning at the Protective Services Committee meeting the RCMP reported that since the program started a little over a month or two ago the community has partnered with the police and other agencies to:
• Identify 8 New Drug Houses that were previously unknown to authorities.
• Shut Down 2 Drug Houses that were identified.
• Force Another Drug House to Move.
That's pretty significant success for a new program.
The last point might strike some people... "you made it move? big deal, it's just moved the problem to another house." That's true and I'll be the first to admit that, but I still see it as a success - and I'll tell you why: The key as I see to it is to make sure that it's not easy to do business selling drugs. If we can force them to move that's a first step to encouraging them that this community and our neighbourhoods are not the right place to do business. I'm hoping and betting the house that moved will be the next to close permanently.
Other points from the RCMP, Enforcement Services (City Bylaw) and Fire Department updates:
• The RCMP front counter is extending it's hours to 7pm to improve access and customer service.
• RCMP have 3 vacant positions that they are trying to fill. (Due to officers retiring ect)
• Enforcement Services has seen a 56% increase in calls for service this year over the same period in 2006.
• The New City/County Animal Pound is almost ready to go to tender for construction.
• The Fire Department handled over 2000 911 calls and dispatched the guys to over 120 fire related calls in just a little over a month.
• The F.D. also had members attend training on Meth Labs and how to deal with them. The training was put on by Community Crime Prevention.
So, there's a few highlights from this morning's meeting - still three more meetings today, who knows what else could happen!