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Crime Prevention Ottawa to be dissolved, replaced with advisory committee

From Elyse Skura· CBC News

Coun. David Hill, who chairs the board of Crime Prevention Ottawa, approved of the move, provided the new advisory committee has an explicit goal of helping to reduce crime.(Jean Delisle/CBC)

Crime Prevention Ottawa is set to be dissolved and have its work folded into an advisory committee as part of a broader review of groups that provide advice to the City of Ottawa.

That recommendation was put forward by Coun. Catherine Kitts, vice-chair of the city's finance and corporate services committee, who noted an overlap in the mandate and membership of the two advisory groups.

"This is not walking away from crime prevention. If anything, it is ensuring that we are doing as much as we can to prevent crime in Ottawa," Mayor Mark Sutcliffe said after the motion was carried.

Crime Prevention Ottawa's $1.2-million budget would be reallocated to the community safety and well-being plan.

Should the decision get the backing of full city council next week, Sutcliffe said the process to merge the two groups would happen as quickly as possible.

City staff have agreed to request a comment on the change from Ottawa police Chief Eric Stubbs before any final decision.

Chair thanks board

Coun. David Hill, chair of the board of Crime Prevention Ottawa, applauded the group's recent achievements and led a round of applause for interim executive director Ahmad Luqman, who stood in the gallery at city hall Tuesday.

From funding research on downtown drug users to advocating for the elimination of barriers facing young men with criminal records, Hill said Crime Prevention Ottawa did important work.

But he also acknowledged the wisdom of merging the group with the community safety and well-being advisory committee.

"I acknowledge that change always comes friction, a bit of risk and uncertainty," Hill said. "But I do believe that with leadership in both organizations, we can see an outcome whereby the city is better served."

Other councillors called for this to be part of a new approach that addresses the underlying causes of crime and instability in the community.

"We're all safer when people's needs are met," said Capital ward Coun. Shawn Menard.


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