October 26, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DOWNTOWN SAFETY SERVICES TRANSITIONED FROM DOWNTOWN BIZ OUTREACH TO WPS CADETS
Downtown Winnipeg — A torch is being passed down, as the Downtown BIZ Outreach program officially passed its role on to the Downtown Winnipeg Police Service Cadets today.
“The Outreach has played a key role in creating a safer downtown for everyone, providing a core service to vulnerable individuals and freeing up emergency services so they can focus on more serious issues,” says Downtown BIZ Executive Director Stefano Grande. “We are pleased to see the Cadets taking up this role with additional resources, and look forward to seeing these important services continue for our members and the general public.”
“The Manitoba government recognizes and supports the valuable work provided by the Outreach program in downtown Winnipeg and it’s encouraging to know that it will be maintained by the cadets,” said Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux. “Keeping people safe and offering help to those who really need it is an important service that benefits us all.”
The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Outreach Patrol Program was an innovative solution that dealt with public intoxication in a manner that was both timely and compassionate. Since the program started in 2006, more than 12,000 indigent individuals have been helped off the street. They have been connected with social service providers and supplied with socks, mittens, blankets, water and food.
“Over six years, the Downtown BIZ Outreach program saved millions of dollars in fire paramedic and police resources,” said Mayor Sam Katz. “More importantly, Outreach volunteers connected thousands of people with social service resources within the City of Winnipeg, and perhaps even saved some lives, by bringing people out of the cold during the winter months. I am pleased this valuable program continues with support from the Winnipeg Police Service cadets.”
Downtown Outreach Patrol Help City’s Less Fortunate
Vulnerable individuals in Winnipeg’s downtown received help from the Downtown BIZ’s 10 highly-trained Outreach Patrol. The Outreach helped intoxicated people move into safer environments in a compassionate manner, and connected people on the street with resources, saving the city’s emergency services an estimated $6 million dollars since the program began 6 years ago. Over 3,000 emergency calls were directed to the Outreach each year, freeing up fire, police and paramedic services to deal with higher priority cases. The Outreach Patrol’s average response time was 10 minutes or less.
The program was supported by the City of Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and Main Street Project.
For more information, visit: http://downtownwinnipegbiz.com/home/safety/
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For more information, please contact:
Jason Syvixay, Public Relations Coordinator
Tel: (204) 958-4635; Cell: (204) 997-3040