Housing, youth education, unsafe properties highlights of Charlie Clark’s safety plan
SASKATOON -- Locksmith Dave Nagorski says he has witnessed a spike in crime in Saskatoon first-hand.
“I work in a lot of buildings where the vandalism is unreal and nothing gets done about it,” Nagorski told CTV News.
The locksmith said he’s seen gangs take over homes and has fixed the same apartment building lock twice in a day.
“I’ll go fix a lock at 3 o’clock and it’s broken by five,” he said, hoping the issue of crime gets addressed in the upcoming mayoral election.
Incumbent Charlie Clark released his safety platform on Thursday morning.
“I’m committed to getting more people off our street and into housing and to have more youth finish school. I’m committed to fixing unsafe properties in neighbourhoods that have become such a blight on our community,” Clark told reporters downtown Saskatoon.
Clark shared his experiences witnessing crime in Saskatoon — from attending a fatal overdose call on a police ride along, to more recently, the death of Brandon Applegate, who Clark worked with on community youth events.
Part of Clark’s safety platform includes tackling the crystal meth crisis, fixing boarded up houses and strengthening community patrol groups.
Candidate Rob Norris said Clark’s ideas are “recycled.”
“Sadly, last year, we saw record murders in Saskatoon,” Norris told CTV News after Clark’s announcement.
Norris wants to expand police crisis teams and have more diverse members serving on the board of police commissioners.
“If I have the privilege of being mayor, first thing’s first, I’m going to serve as the (police) board chair and make sure there’s a firm sense of direction,” Norris said.
Candidate Cary Tarasoff called Clark’s plan “vague.”
“He wants to pretend like he’s done something for four years and he hasn’t done much of anything, other than being on committees and listening to other people lead them,” Tarasoff told CTV News.
Tarasoff said he’d focus on improving living conditions for those furthest from opportunity.
“Crime and safety and security go together with economic activity. If people have proper homes to live in and a job, they’re less likely to be involved in crime,” Tarasoff said.
According to candidate Don Atchison’s website, shelter and rehabilitation services should be provided and “are not the responsibility of the Lighthouse or police.”
Voters hit the polls Nov. 9.