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New public safety program for Calgary in the works

A partnership between the Edmonton Police Service and Alberta Sheriffs will be commencing in a few weeks, but the province says Calgary's public safety issues won't be ignored. A partnership between the Edmonton Police Service and Alberta Sheriffs will be commencing in a few weeks, but the province says Calgary's public safety issues won't be ignored.
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The Alberta government says it won't be leaving out Calgary as it looks into way to improve public safety in downtown environments.

Both Jeremy Nixon, Alberta's minister of seniors, community and social services, and Public Safety Minister Mike Ellis confirmed Thursday the province is working on solutions that will cater to what's needed in Calgary.

Later this month, the Edmonton Police Service and Alberta Sheriffs will embark on a 15-week pilot program aimed at putting more personnel on the ground in that city to help prevent crime.

The strategy will see EPS paired with sheriffs in order to extend operations from five days to seven and provide 20 hours of coverage in that city's downtown.

Nixon says Calgary won't be left out of a similar strategy, but discussions about what it will look like are still being worked out.

"We have the Edmonton task force (and) we also have the Calgary Task Force and so similar discussions are taking place at that level to make sure we are helping out most vulnerable in our community, but also making sure that spaces are safe for everybody," Nixon told reporters on Thursday.

Ellis says his office will be analyzing the issues of addiction, homelessness and public safety in Calgary before finalizing a plan.

(With files from Mark Villani)

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