City agrees committee name change will engage public in safety initiatives

The Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Review Committee is getting a name change.

At a meeting of North Battleford city council Monday, approval was given to change the name to the North Battleford Community Safety Committee. According to City Planner Ryan Mackrell, they were finding the name “CPTED Review Committee” was creating a lot of confusion in the public.

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“It’s not that recognizable to the general public,” said Mackrell. “We want to get out to the public more, we want to be visible with the public, and get the public more involved in what we are doing.” 

He said it was felt a more generic name would help towards that cause. The committee, according to its annual report, is the primary vehicle that leads and manages City Hall-led community safety initiatives, using the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. 

The city’s community safety coordinator, Herb Sutton, had noted the challenge the committee had faced before in using the CPTED name for the committee.

“Few people in the city really know what CPTED is,” said Sutton. “When we say CPTED, peoples’ eyes glaze over because they have no idea what we are talking about. Which is fair enough.”

He added community education will be part of the committee’s work in 2020 and indicated the name change will help with that.    

“It needs to be a priority for our committee to get out and explain what that research is all about. It’s pretty hard to get people to buy into the principles of CPTED if they have no idea what we are talking about.”

The plan for 2020, said Sutton, is to focus on block parties and community barbecues, and also some community presentations to spread the message.

With respect to block parties, council agreed Monday to waive the $25 administration block party permit fee for the remainder of 2020.

Mackrell noted in his memo to council that the Community Perception Survey undertaken by Dr. Tarah Hodgkinson will be a focus this year, as are downtown safety initiatives, Art Alley and public education/awareness on crime prevention.

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