Downtown safety initiatives

Calgary’s downtown is the heart of our city, and Calgary's success relies on our downtown being a place where people want to live, spend time, and where businesses want to set up shop, now and for decades to come.

Safety in Calgary’s downtown has always been a top priority for The City, whether during busy and vibrant times or through a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City has initiatives and programs in place to ensure the safety of all citizens living, working, visiting or travelling through our downtown communities.

Calgary Police Service

The Calgary Police Service (CPS) has a number of programs and initiatives in place to support safety and the reduction of social disorder in and around Calgary’s downtown. These programs and initiatives are monitored regularly to ensure they are meeting the needs of Calgarians and are responding to changes in the downtown environment. CPS’ downtown programs and presence are focused on a Crime Reduction Strategy, which utilizes patrol cars, foot patrols, bike patrols, and Community Resources Officers.

CPS has recently transitioned two of their downtown beat teams into bike teams to cover more ground and provide a visible presence throughout the downtown.

Learn more about Calgary Police Service programs and initiatives at Calgary Police Service.

Calgary Transit

Calgary Transit is committed to your safety while you ride, with a focus on creating safe environments in all our locations, including downtown, throughout all hours of the day. In addition to Public Safety and Enforcement officers patrolling the Transit system 24/7, security guards are situated at stations downtown. 

The Calgary Transit TransitWatch program allows Calgarians to report safety concerns through help phones, silent text services and phone lines to keep our public transit safe.  Additionally CCTV monitoring is in place at all CTrain stations. Controlled in the Calgary Transit Operations Centre 24/7, security agents are in direct contact with the Public Safety Enforcement officers and Calgary Police Services.

For more information visit Safety on Transit.

Stephen Avenue and East Village Safety Hubs

The City of Calgary and Calgary Police Service operate a single, centralized location on Stephen Avenue where uniformed officers can collaborate on common issues, complete necessary paperwork and store equipment. This innovative working space was generously donated by the Calgary Downtown Association and Slate Management and will operate for one year as a pilot project.

The newly opened East Village Safety Hub is a partnership between The City of Calgary, Calgary Police Service, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), and Alpha House Society’s Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership Program. The new safety hub is located in the St. Lous Hotel on 8 Avenue SE and follows the model of the Stephen Avenue Safety Hub in order to better respond to the East Village’s evolving social needs. The safety hub will operate as a three year pilot program.

These initiatives provide the opportunity to increase the visibility of uniformed Police, Bylaw and Transit officers in the Downtown Core and East Village, enhancing the sense of safety and security for citizens and businesses. Having a centralized location in areas with high calls for service will help to reduce travel time for officers attending calls and allow the partner agencies to connect daily and leverage each other’s expertise.

The Stephen Avenue and East Village Safety Hubs are not reporting locations and will not be staffed to receive walk-in traffic. Public wishing to access police non-emergency services are asked to call or attend the District 1 Ramsay location, or the non-emergency reporting number 403-266-1234. Property offences can also be reported online at calgarypolice.ca.

Creating a vibrant downtown

To create a downtown that is attractive to current and future business, residents and visitors, The City is working on initiatives to enhance the vibrancy, vitality and safety of the downtown area. Activities are being planned to bring people downtown this summer, with the following in the works for the Beltline communities: 

  • Community Fire Pit Pilot (May 21 – October 11)
  • CalgaryEATS Farm Stand (Saturdays, May 29 – October 9 Central Memorial Park)
  • Self-guided and guided walking tours (Historic Calgary Week)

Learn more about The City of Calgary Parks and recreation programs at Parks and Recreation.

Downtown Ambassador Project

The Downtown Ambassador program is a partnership between The City of Calgary and the Calgary Downtown Association to provide a welcoming presence and promote the downtown area as a safe and vibrant place to live, work and play. Working as part of a team, ambassadors connect Calgarians, businesses, and visitors to information on events, places, and services nearby. Ambassadors build ties with local businesses, community organizations, as well as individuals experiencing vulnerabilities, to gather feedback and identify resources and supports. Since 2020, ambassadors have played an essential role in promoting and supporting a safe, clean and inclusive downtown. Learn more about the Downtown Ambassadors and where to find them here.

Coordinated Safety & Security Pilot

The Coordinated Safety & Security Pilot is made up of security representatives from downtown organizations and institutions including the Calgary Public Library, Bow Valley College, University of Calgary, Arts Commons, the Glenbow Museum, as well as the Calgary Police Service, City uniform services and social services, such as Alpha House.

Together, this group has worked to improve training for staff, increase data and information coordination, and improve communication overall among these various organizations. 

Community Safety Map

The Community Safety Map has been developed by The City of Calgary’s Corporate Analytics and Innovation group in collaboration with The City's uniform services, including Calgary Community Standards, Calgary Fire, Calgary Parking Authority, Calgary Transit and Corporate Security, along with the Alpha House Society. This working group integrated their social disorder incidents and calls for service in the 9 Block area and can be used to create a predictive model to support the deploying of resources in the 9 Block area. The 9 Block program was an effort to improve vibrancy and safety in the nice blocks that surround City Hall.  The City of Calgary, the University of Calgary, the Calgary Downtown Association, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and Bow Valley College worked collaboratively to improve safety in this important area of the downtown, support the neighbourhoods’ businesses, and find low-cost, impactful solutions through partnerships.

This ongoing program has the capacity to integrate other key internal and external partner data to meet future requirements.

Learn more about the initiatives to support the 9 Block area at 9 Block Program.