The The City of Thompson and the Community Wellness and Public Safety Advisory Committee wants your help in developing a comprehensive public safety strategy for Thompson by filling out the Thompson Community Safety Survey.
We want residents to not only express their sense of safety and its causes, but also your sense of community connection, and your vision of Thompson in the present and future.
You can fill out the survey online at the link above, or get a paper copy at City Hall or the Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre. Hard copies can be returned in a sealed envelope to the Front Desk at either office during public hours. The survey is anonymous: hard copies submitted will be compiled by the committee’s consulting team, Community Safety and Knowledge Alliance (CSKA) and submitted to the committee as a whole.
What is the Community Wellness and Public Safety Advisory Committee?
The Community Wellness and Public Safety Advisory Committee began its work in January 2020; in March, the Province of Manitoba awarded the City of Thompson with a $36, 000 grant to hire Community Safety and Knowledge Alliance as experienced consultants to facilitate the planning process.
Sixteen different organizations were represented in these initial planning sessions, led by Advisory Committee co-chairs Dee Chaboyer (Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Center), Mike Bourgon (City of Thompson Fire and Emergency Services), and Staff Sergeant Chris Hastie (RCMP).
New Approaches to old problems
Since the 1990s, Thompson’s City Councils and local agencies have grappled with the challenge of addressing social health in Thompson. Although many discussions between community leaders have taken place over the years, they have rarely been assembled into a unified vision for Thompson as a community. Previous attempts at planning have suffered from insufficient resources, limited representation, and loose frameworks for accountability.
The Advisory Committee has discussed these barriers in detail, with a clear path to improvement.
Collaboration: This may be surprising, but the Community Wellness and Public Safety Advisory Committee represents the first time that the City, Thompson RCMP, and community agencies have come together to create an integrated, community-wide approach to public safety in Thompson. Previous strategies have suffered from isolation and limited resources: just as isolation breeds crime in communities, it also makes it more difficult to bring under control.
Building on Success: The Advisory Committee aims to harness the promising programs that have shown limited success in Thompson, and seeks to develop and enrich those programs while helping them work together towards their common goals.
This includes initiatives like the Thompson Community Response Team that works to overcome barriers and develop coordinated responses for urgent social service cases, and Ma-Mow-We-Tak’s Second Chances for Youth program, which uses restorative justice to develop a meaningful sense of accountability and community among youth who have committed minor crimes.
Accountability: Many community initiatives are stymied by the need for approvals from boards or directors, and when leadership is not present at the table, these decisions are often pushed to the back of people’s minds. The new Advisory Committee is made up of community leaders directly responsible for decision-making within their organizations, minimizing barriers to communication and delays from approvals and chains of command.