Blackburn Community Hall
Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 7:00PM
Meeting called to order at 7:00PM
Jody Mitic, City Councillor, Innes Ward
Constable Jen Cote, Ottawa Police Service
Pam Cripps, Executive Director, Emily Murphy Housing Corp
Representatives from Gloucester Housing
Laura Dudas, President, Blackburn Hamlet Community Association
- Jody introduced the panel, Pam Cripps, Constable Jen Cote
- Jody raised the issue of the recent shootings at the Emily Murphy Housing/Gloucester Housing.
- Jen provided an update on behalf of the OPS and the guns and gangs unit.
- Jen explained it was a targeted incident, and no arrests have been made to date; following the incident, her and her Staff Sergeant went to the housing complex and immediately started to discuss measures and ways to improve safety.
- Jody and Jen brought up that there are proactive safety measures such as cameras, patrolling etc to help get people feel more safe.
Questions from the floor were taken beginning at 7:08PM
- A resident indicated he was pleased to see an increased police presence on bikes patrolling the Hamlet.
- Jen indicated that there are officers dedicated to Blackburn Zone and the two officers assigned to the zone operate in 10 hour shifts.
- A resident asked Pam Cripps about the process of dealing with ongoing problem units at the community housing units.
- Pam discussed how the process for dealing with trouble units operates through the landlord/tenant board.
- A resident asked about the numerous tags of graffiti throughout the community. Pam said tags are at the housing community are coming from people who live external to the property; monthly community cleanups occur at Emily Murphy to help encourage personal stewardship of the property.
- A resident asked what the community can do to help promote safety in the Hamlet.
- A resident asked why don’t we install a closed circuit tv monitoring system? Jody said that is his preferred option and that discussions are under way with the housing providers to review viability of installing such a device.
- A resident asked how OCH camera systems are working? Jody said OCH has over 300 CC TV cameras around the their city properties with direct linkages to the OPS or security companies .
- A resident has mentioned she came to the meeting because she needs advice on the best way to deal with crimes in progress. Jen indicated the best course of action is calling 911. She said you do not have to identify your location and police will not knock on your door if you don’t feel comfortable.
- A resident asked if the OPS offers courses or info sessions on community safety or reporting crime. Jen told the resident that community watch programs are place and can be started to help train residents on reporting suspicious behaviour and keeping the community safe.
- Laura Dudas said last fall a neighbourhood watch program was started with limited participation.
- Laura said she attended the community housing places the day following the shooting and reported residents were very scared. Laura supports the concept of CC TV at both housing neighbourhoods.
- A resident asked Gloucester Housing Corp if they have regular patrols or staff check in on their residents. Phil from Gloucester Housing said there are staff on site a few hours each week in Blackburn, however staff are spread out between the other 6 Gloucester Housing sites
- A resident asked if there is security on site at Gloucester and Emily Murphy Housing. Phil and Pam indicated they do not have the resources as a non-profit to have security on site.
- A resident asked the OPS is there a growing deeper concern of criminal, drug and gang activity. Is there something more serious that is growing? Jody said he spoke to Pat Flanagan, there is no significant risk that is growing at this time in the Hamlet.
- Jen said the question of growing incidents in East Division has been raised to the Chief of Police.
- A residents asked Pam what is being done differently now to push out gang violence and report crime/suspicious activity as it may be observed. Pam said they are now proactive with letters of complaint that helps build a case to the landlord tenant board for eviction.
- A resident asked if a small community police office could be placed in the Blackburn Mall. Jen agreed that it would be a fantastic idea. Jody said he would speak to Inspector Pat Flanagan about the idea of a community police office
- Residents asked if they could make a presentation to the police board to detail the concerns they have in Blackburn Jody said he would escort residents to the police services board meeting
- A resident asked if other families in the community can help run the programming and improve services for Emily Murphy residents. Pam said she would gladly accept help from the community. She referenced the support received from the Life Centre for recreational devices and garden maintenance
- Pam referenced a program called Mom to Mom operating in BC. She is hoping a similar program could be offered for mom’s at Emily Murphy
- A resident came forward from a professional organization offering a volunteer database to help connect parents with jobs and volunteer opportunities
- Jody thanked the residents for coming out tonight.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:15PM.