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City of Ottawa Safety Leader

Craig Calder, City of Ottawa Safety Leader

The City of Ottawa Community Safety Award goes to a deserving city employee who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in crime prevention and community safety. Craig Calder is that leader. As manager of bylaw enforcement from the Rideau River east to Cumberland and south to Osgoode, Craig’s area of responsibility is vast.

He manages 30 staff who enforce about 25 bylaws relating to property standards, zoning, noise, parks, and more. He and his team deal with their share of complaints and stressful situations. It’s a high-pressure environment where a positive attitude, a spirit of collaboration, and a sense of humour are absolute necessities.

These are the qualities Craig Calder values. He works hard to lead by example and give his staff freedom and independence to make their own decisions. Safety and security are integral to the work Craig’s team does every day. That’s why he has played an important role in representing By-law and Regulatory Services on a number of Business Improvement Area safety and security committees.

To be truly successful in improving the quality of life of local residents, business owners and their patrons, each member of the committee needs to take ownership of the issues and put the right resources in place to solve the problems quickly. Craig has fulfilled that role admirably. He has also worked closely with residents through his involvement with “Together for Vanier.”

His greatest point of pride has been to watch the rebirth of Vanier through his involvement in the “Quartier Vanier” BIA committee. He calls it a beautification project, and it’s easy to see why. Over the past five years, Vanier has come into its own thanks to the dedicated people who worked to make the neighbourhood safe, clean and repair the streetscapes, improve the aesthetics of some of the most problematic properties, and address noise, graffiti, and other issues. Stronger links have been forged between the city, local residents, police and OC Transpo. Craig says the improvements have had a huge impact on the community.

Craig sees his role – and that of his community partners – as being a catalyst for change. He says that if you leave a problem to fester, a neighbourhood deteriorates over time. But by addressing issues quickly, the whole community starts to participate in the process.

People feel a sense of ownership, which is the key to long-term change. As a result, crime drops and community pride increases.

As for this award? Craig feels he’s not a one-man show. He says he’s one small part of a larger whole—people committed to building better communities for all of us to enjoy.

Ken Racine, City of Ottawa Safety Leader

As part of OC Transpo’s Transit Law Enforcement Unit, Special Constable Ken Racine’s job is to ensure the safety and security of Transit Services employees and the communities that OC Transpo serves. Ken goes beyond this mandate, however, and works to bring those communities together for a unified purpose – community crime prevention.

A committed youth advocate Ken used his interest in helping young people to create his current position as School Resource Officer within the Transit Law Enforcement Unit.  Ken is one of four liaisons for the many schools in Ottawa that use OC Transpo to bus their students. At the beginning of each school year, he participates in the schools’ orientation programs, explaining what is expected of students when using transit, and the consequences for not following the rules.

Ken deals with all school concerns and incidents, and he also works with students by making himself available to them to discuss their concerns about safety and security while using the transit system. Recognizing that many students are fearful of coming forward with their concerns, Ken introduced a new initiative this year, going directly to grade seven and eight classes and trying to break down the barriers many students see with authority figures. The results of his efforts have been very positive and students now approach Ken every time he arrives at the school.

Literally going the extra mile, this year Ken also participated in the Terry Fox run alongside students from a few different schools. Through these efforts, Ken encourages students to see him in a different light and relate to him in a positive way. This helps build trust and open the lines of communication.

Through his work as a youth advocate Ken became very interested in the premise of Restorative Justice, drawn to the idea that restorative justice puts the emphasis on the wrong done to a person as well as on the wrong done to the community. The goal of these programs is to "restore" the relationship, fix the damage that has been done and prevent further crimes from taking place. Ken uses this model in his work with schools. When an incident occurs he makes sure to communicate not only with the offender, but also with schools, parents, teachers, and often the victim so that everyone can work together to resolve the issue.

Ken has taken his work to the wider community becoming involved in the United Neighbours “Coffee Houses” and working with the Ottawa Police Service, Crime Prevention Ottawa, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre and Community Housing Officers to address community safety issues.  He has been able to use his position as School Resource Officer to encourage youth to attend Coffee House meetings and learn how to resolve conflict in a supportive manner.

Ken is also involved in a number of volunteer organizations in his community and is currently working on a student mentoring program through OC Transpo. Ken’s commitment to his community clearly demonstrates his participation in crime prevention through social development, by promoting well-being through education, cooperation and positive social interactions in his community.