City redeploying staff as community safety ambassadors in parks amid COVID-19 closures
WINNIPEG -- The City of Winnipeg is relaunching its community safety ambassador program and redeploying staff from community services shuttered by the latest round of COVID-19 measures.
On Thursday, Mayor Brian Bowman said the city is working to redeploy a number of employees that are now without work due to the public health measures. The city announced last week it would be suspending all recreation and leisure programs, and will be closing several city facilities.
Bowman said the city is temporarily relaunching its community safety ambassador program in city parks. The program has city staff out and about informing patrons of city parks about current public health orders.
"Primarily education, but of course, they can call in situations that will ultimately flow to provincial coordination for enforcement if and when necessary," Bowman said.
The mayor said once the city's community services are allowed to reopen, the staff will return to their original jobs.
"Our parks are going to be busy over the next little while and we want to make sure that the people use them safely, and that we have those ambassadors out there providing good information about COVID safety," said Jay Shaw, the manager of Winnipeg's emergency operations centre.
Shaw said staff from the shuttered services will have the choice between helping with litter cleanup in city parks or joining the community safety ambassador program. He said specific numbers of how many staff are impacted will be released next week.
The community safety ambassadors are set to be deployed by early next week.