The RCMP will be getting a helping hand in the form of Community Safety Officers (CSO) soon.

The City of Portage la Prairie has invited applicants looking to help keep the City safe. Chair of the Public Safety Committee Colin Doyle calls the approval of CSOs in Portage very exciting.

"I know that people have been looking for a solution to some of the issues in our city," notes Doyle. "I think this is a step in the right direction."

The City council approved the application regarding bringing CSOs to Portage on December 11, 2023. Doyle adds that those brought in to be CSOs will be considered city employees and report to Fire Chief Brad Bailey.

"The CSOs will not only be involved in the enforcement of the law but also relationship building with our citizens," says Doyle. "They will also help support our bylaw team, and more importantly, I feel they'll help deal with issues around homelessness and addiction."

The training for CSOs will take place in either Winnipeg or Brandon over four weeks.

"We've had incredible support from our local RCMP," says Doyle. "They are extremely welcoming to this idea, which unfortunately doesn't happen in many municipalities, so we're very lucky to have their support."

Those looking to apply to be a CSO can submit their application here.