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Mayor Brian Bowman is hopeful council will approve some amendments being made to the city's downtown safety improvement strategy. 

The amendments have passed the Executive Policy Committee and will be voted on by council at the next meeting on July 19. 

The amendments include moving up plans to scrap the Portage Place bus shelter and replace it with something safer, adding two patrol members to the West End BIZ and adding improved lighting in public areas. 

That's in addition to the original plan which included an expansion of the SafeWalk program, modernizing Winnipeg Police Service surveillance technology in the downtown, conducting a pilot for the use of technology that can be used by third parties to communicate with police and improved lighting in areas that are hot spots for crime.

The amendments add around $500,000 in cost to the downtown safety strategy. 

Bowman says the transit stop at Portage Place was originally going to be looked at in 2019. But with recent comments by Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth, who said it is a hot spot for crime, Bowman says it's important to tackle that issue right away. 

"It requires action on our part," Bowman said. "There's going to have to be some streetscaping, there's going to have to be a new transit shelter installed with better lighting and we want to see that existing transit stop decommissioned as soon as possible." 

He says for that to happen, a lot of organizations have to come together, but he's confident they can get it done. 

"There is going to be a lot of coordination between the owner of Portage Place, the Forks North Portage Partnership, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, the police, public works and Winnipeg Transit," Bowman said. "There's already historic funds being provided to the Winnipeg Police Service and they make decisions about where they deploy those resources, but what we increasingly need to do is look at public safety and look at what other organizations and individuals can do to build a safer downtown Winnipeg for all of us." 

Revamping the Portage Place transit stop would cost approximately $275,000, according to Bowman. 

Bowman says the funding for these amendments is coming out of the Destination Marketing Reserve.