Funding, “The Twitter” Challenge Crime Prevention Ottawa

- September 12th, 2011

A bit more than a year after Crime Prevention Ottawa’s future was in jeopardy, it appears board members still feel financial pressure from City Hall.

Near the end of a board meeting earlier this evening, the subject of funding came up around the table. The discussion spun off from a synopsis by executive director Nancy Worsfold about her meeting with Mayor Jim Watson.

From Worsfold’s report of the meeting, it appears Watson is keen on CPO’s crime prevention mandate but wants the city-funded organization to pay more attention to areas outside the core. He also, according to Worsfold, is interested in a symposium with police about the annual crime stats.

Coun. David Chernushenko read it as a “veiled message” that CPO can’t rely on city funding forever, and Coun. Shad Qadri, board chairman, said “we have to investigate every opportunity” to find new funding.

(Council approved a $400,000 budget for CPO in 2011)

Worsfold explained CPO has been very successful attracting provincial funding for programs, but less so for federal funding. She also suggested that the organization needs to do a better job of marketing its successes.

Board members agreed the issue of funding needs to be on a future agenda, so we’ll see what ideas staff come up with.

CPO could be one of the dominos that fall if council ever has trouble keeping its 2.5% tax promise, especially if any of the uploading program is reversed after the provincial election.

There was another interesting tidbit from the board meeting.

It seems CPO isn’t sure what it should do about using social media to promote its programs. I heard the phrase “the Twitter” used a few times, but there seems to be significant reluctance from staff to use the popular tool.

The strange thing is, for an organization wanting to market itself more, you would think Twitter would be an easy first step. Maybe they should ask Watson, a power Twitter user, for some tips.

I’ll end with a little plug for CPO. Staff are looking for nominees for their annual community safety awards in November. Any suggestions can be sent to staff.

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Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling

Categories: City

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2 comments

  1. Now, now, be fair! What I said about twitter was that I understood why people would be interested in the Mayor’s tweets, but I am not sure if I am all that interesting … but take a look at our attempts at social media:
    http://crimepreventionottawa.wordpress.com/
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dont-be-that-guy/184979151557963

  2. Jon Willing says:

    Indeed, blogs and FB are good. Where Twitter would help, and I believe a board member mentioned this last night, is being able to share these links with a large audience. For example, if there’s an update to your blog, you could tell us with a tweet.

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