Stephen Avenue Safety Hub opens doors to safety collaboration
Several city services have partnered with community leaders to open what is believed to be a first-of-a-kind facility in downtown Calgary.
The Stephen Avenue Safety Hub, located at 230 8 Avenue S.W., is a centralized location where officers from Calgary Community Standards, Calgary Transit and the Calgary Police Service can work together to better serve the downtown community. The Hub will not be a traditional community station, rather, it will allow officers to have a dedicated space for report writing, multi-service collaboration, storage of equipment and restroom facilities.
The space has been generously provided rent-free for one year by Slate Asset Management and the Calgary Downtown Association. This two-year pilot project will facilitate evaluation into how The City of Calgary and the Calgary Police Service can enhance the perception of safety in the core, while building stronger connections between partner agencies and community partners.
City Council has approved $2.5 million dollars, over two years, for downtown safety initiatives, which includes the operation of the Stephen Avenue Safety Hub beyond the first year of operation. The Downtown Ambassador program, a partnership between The City and the Calgary Downtown Association to provide a welcoming and safe presence downtown, is also be funded for the next two years.
“Over the past few years, we have been open to the conversation of a police facility returning to the core. However, the costs have been prohibitive, and it had not been part of our strategic facility planning given other pressures. As a result, there had not been a feasible option for immediate consideration until we were presented with this generous opportunity,” said Calgary Police Service District 1 Insp. Clare Smart. “This facility will open doors to new possibilities, stronger partnerships and more community engagement.”
“Safety in Calgary’s downtown has always been a top priority for The City, whether during busy and vibrant times or through a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chief Bylaw Officer Ryan Pleckaitis with Calgary Community Standards. “The Stephen Avenue Safety Hub supports this priority by increasing presence of uniformed officers, providing an enhanced sense of safety and security for citizens and business in the area which contributes to the vibrancy of the downtown core.”
“This space will allow Transit officers to have a dedicated site in an area with high volumes of customer reported concerns,” said Chief Safety Officer Sam Hope with Calgary Transit. “This location is within a few blocks of three downtown CTrain stations and allows our officers to respond to concerns quickly and help Transit customers feel safe and comfortable at these stations.
“Safety and security for business, residents and visitors to downtown are a top priority for the Calgary Downtown Association as we prepare for gradual phases of reopening post pandemic. This Hub is an important part of our work to ensure downtown is recognized as a safe, inclusive and vibrant place for all. We’re very proud to be a partner in this innovative collaborative effort to make downtown safety a priority,” said Jennifer Rempel, GM of the Calgary Downtown Association.
For the duration of the pilot project, this location will not serve as a public reporting location. Public wishing to access police non-emergency services are asked to call or attend the District 1 Ramsay, 1010 26 Avenue S.E., or the non-emergency reporting number 403-266-1234. Property offences can also be reported online. A help phone on the outside of the building will connect anyone experiencing an emergency to Calgary 9-1-1.