Kelowna council has authorized $130k to help start Rutland on-call program

URBA gets on-call funding

A program patterned after the successful downtown on-call is one step closer to reality in Rutland.

City council Monday authorized spending $130,000 to help move the one-year pilot project forward.

The Uptown Rutland Business Association is kicking in $50,000 and is looking for the balance, $125,000, through grants and community sponsorship.

During his presentation to council, community safety director Darren Caul says the downtown on-call, or red shirt program has been highly successful since it was established nearly two decades ago,.

In 2023 he says 5,700 calls for service were handled by the on-call team most of which precluded calls to either the RCMP of city bylaw.

Only eight per cent of those calls, less than 400, required RCMP or bylaw intervention.

Funding from the city will come from the $500,000 budget council granted to the Mayor's Task Force On Crime.

A Rutland on-call program is one of several initiatives that are expected to come from the task force later this spring however Caul said it was brought forward now in order to get it rolling soon.

Concerns were raised near the end of 2023 when RCMP figures showed crime had dropped significantly in downtown Kelowna but spiked in the Rutland area.

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