The provincial government has set aside funding and launched what’s called the integrated community safety initiative in Williams Lake to tackle violent crime. Williams Lake and the Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional District will receive up to $500,000 in civil forfeiture grant funding to support the initiative. Building on discussions involving the Province, the City of Williams Lake and First Nations leaders, a local steering committee has been established to prioritize community safety goals and guide targeted projects and activities over a two year period in the following areas:
1. Regional collaboration on public safety issues
2. Training and community capacity building to enhance frontline response
3. Programs and services to better prevent and respond to crime
“The B.C. government is committed to stopping violent crime,” stated Mike Morris, BC’s Solicitor General, who is in Williams Lake for the announcement. “With a strong spirit of collaboration among First Nations and other local leaders, and among experts in justice, health and social agencies, this new funding will help them advance their insights into further action. The goal is to steer both young people away from becoming involved in unlawful activity and repeat offenders away from remaining criminals.”
Examples of projects the steering committee may consider include expanding the prolific offender management committee, enhancing restorative justice services, crisis intervention training and community safety mobilization workshops among other initiatives. The steering committee will work to finalize project activities in the coming months. An initiative co-ordinator will be hired to lead the work under the direction of the steering committee.