Ville de Gatineau establishes and maintains many parks within its boundaries. In 2002, in order to ensure the quality of its infrastructure facilities established within its boundaries, the Service des loisirs, des sports et de la vie communautaire created the Park Monitoring Program.
Modelled on a program created by Ville de Hull in 1997, this prevention program was developed to provide a presence in the parks to discourage wrongdoers. In this manner, police technology students patrol in teams of two and according to an established frequency the various city parks to meet users and raise their awareness of different legislation concerning municipal parks. It is the attendants' responsibility to notify the appropriate public services when they discover a problem that could jeopardize the security or the quality of life of citizens in the parks. The approach used differs little from that of street workers. They have no repressive powers, but they are supported by the police in case of need.
Under the responsibility of the program supervisor, more than 20 park attendants rotate to ensure a consistent level of service every evening, from 10 a.m. to midnight, from June 1st to August 20, 2018, and part-time from August 20 to October 15. Afterwards, these attendants work part-time until the end of November according to a schedule organized according to identified problems. The patrol officers meet on a weekly basis in order to exchange information and update their knowledge of the state of various patrol areas. Meetings are organized regularly with the Service de police, neighbourhood associations, youth centres and community organizations in order to coordinate their actions to address problems identified in municipal parks.
The effectiveness of the park monitoring program is affected by many helpers. The Service des travaux publics follows up on requests for repairs and maintenance made by the attendants and the Service de police ensures the enforcement of municipal by-laws when intervention by attendants is insufficient. The service centres, youth centres, neighbourhood associations and community organizations are working to identify specific problems and are involved in the alternatives under consideration.
Since its inception, the program has achieved significant reductions in the repair costs resulting from acts of vandalism across all municipal parks. The presence of these attendants has diminished the number of situations that lend themselves to the deterioration of public facilities in city parks.
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