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Task Force on community safety holds first meeting

Discussion included issues surrounding Oshawa’s downtown

The inaugural meeting of the mayor’s new task force on community safety, security and well-being saw discussion on the need to address issues in the city’s downtown.

The virtual meeting, held on Jan. 29, includes Mayor Dan Carter, Regional and City Councillor Bob Chapman (task force chair), and representatives from Durham Regional Police Services, Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, social service agencies, local business community, community partners, and residents.

Members discussed addressing downtown issues using a broad and holistic approach, the city’s current bylaws related to safety, how residents and businesses can report safety and security related incidents, and the importance of ongoing proactive communications.

Carter says he was “pleased” to be part of the dialogue.

“The task force is bringing key partners together to have conversations on safety in our community and to work together to identify opportunities to address Oshawa’s unique challenges and build a better community for everyone,” he says.

Chapman says there was great discussion on issues surrounding the downtown.

“I look forward to working together to identify root causes and recommend solutions,” he notes.

The task force, which was announced in January, will address priorities in multiple phases due to the complexities of these issues.

According to the task force, Key objectives include engaging and collaborating with local businesses, residents and stakeholders regarding community safety, security and well-being issues and potential opportunities for improvement; ensuring the work of the task force complements and enhances the efforts and activities of the regional-wide Community Safety Well-being Plan; and supporting communications regarding outcomes of the task force and increased awareness of safety, security and well-being in the community.

Residents and local businesses can report city-related incidents, such as bylaw repots, concerns with park or trail use, or discarded needles on city property, to Service Oshawa at 905-436-3311. To contact Durham police for non-emergencies, call 905-579-1520.