Building Safer Communities
The City of Maple Ridge (CMR) and Ridge Meadows RCMP are working with community partners and organizations to develop programs, services and initiatives that address the underlying causes of youth involvement with gun and gang violence. On March 16, 2023, Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, on behalf of the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, announced that Maple Ridge will receive $1.8 million from the Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF) as part of a three year plan to build resiliency against gun and gang entanglement amongst the young people in our community.
The BSCF was created to support municipalities and Indigenous (First Nation, Inuit or Métis) governments in their efforts to address gun and gang prevalence. This funding will help CMR and its partners to promote safety, community/individual wellness, and inclusion amongst our youth and their support systems.
Vulnerability to gang entanglement can be greatly reduced through early prevention, education and the reinforcement of strong connections and relationships with trusted adults in our community. Community engagement, prevention and intervention are the project pillars guiding our work.
Update: July 12, 2023
On July 11, the project team presented to Council an overview of the initiatives that will be delivered using the BSCF. They also elaborated on the unique partnership between the City and Ridge Meadows RCMP, highlighting the advantages of addressing the underlying causes of youth gun and gang violence from multiple perspectives. Read the latest news release for more information.
The community can expect initiatives to be mobilized over the summer and into the fall. Please revisit this page for updates soon.
The first year will focus on research and community engagement that will ultimately be the foundation of a community-focused gun and gang prevention and intervention strategy. Research, development and analysis will be an ongoing part of this project.
Please note that a more detailed plan including a timeline is currently in development. Here is some of the work underway:
- Working in partnership with the Ridge Meadows RCMP, the City will analyze existing data and research around youth gun and gang violence
- Engagement with young people, Indigenous Peoples, service providers and project partners
- Through research, resource-sharing with partners and community engagement, the City will determine community-specific trends around youth gun and gang violence including:
- Risk and predictive factors
- Volume and neighbourhood prevalence of gun and gang violence
- Best-practices for risk-factor mitigation (ex: referring to established programs provincially and nationally)
- Examples of planned engagements include:
- Build relationships and engage approximately 20 youth with lived experience in a program development focus group
- Engage in outreach and recruitment of program participants
- Develop a public awareness, engagement and marketing plan
- To support the larger project, the following will also occur in Year One:
- Develop a program data collection and evaluation framework
- Develop a sustainability strategy to preserve the program beyond the duration of federal funding
Years Two to Three
Throughout years two and three, we will focus on formalizing and implementing programs, services and initiatives for youth gun and gang prevention and intervention. This work will include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Public awareness and education initiatives
- Collaboration with local agencies who serve at-risk youth
- Program implementation