Prince George's service enhancements, with a focus on downtown, are now being implemented.
These service enhancements were debated during the city’s 2020 budget discussions earlier this year, with council ultimately approving the Downtown Safe, Clean and Inclusive Package focused on six areas.
- Police services have been increased to include a two-member daily patrol downtown.
- Bylaw Services staff dedicated to the downtown have been increased from two to four officers.
- Contracted security is monitoring downtown civic facilities.
- Funding for the two downtown homeless service hubs that provide washrooms, storage, and other critical services has been renewed.
- Improved lighting, security, and daily cleaning at the Second Avenue parkade. The Fifth Avenue parkade and the Canada Games Plaza also now feature security and improved lighting.
- Additional staff and equipment in public works to manage marginalized camps and deal with downtown cleanup service requests.
The package of service enhancements came about as a response to public feedback received during a special council meeting held on December 2 about the need to allocate additional resources to address social issues in the community.
The meeting also led to the creation of the Select Committee on a Clean, Safe, and Inclusive Community.
The city says the committee is expected to provide a report to Council later this year, which will include additional recommendations on improving health, safety, and security in Prince George.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city has instituted a number of further initiatives to improve the downtown.
Crews with Prince George Fire and Rescue Services are now conducting downtown alley patrols each evening. Members patrol the downtown in the alleys from First Avenue to Sixth Avenue and from Victoria Street to Lower Patricia Boulevard.
Downtown Prince George is also working with the Prince George Brain Injured Group (PGBIG) to expand the hours of service provided by the Downtown Clean Team.
The POUNDS Project Society is working with downtown businesses to provide free graffiti removal for downtown businesses through the summer.
The city is also providing additional downtown washroom access at Canada Games Plaza and is contracting POUNDS to monitor the facilities.