The success of such initiatives as the Graffiti Outreach and the Colwood City Watch programs has led Phil Williams to be named Bylaw Enforcement Officer of the Year by the License Inspectors and Bylaw Officers Association of B.C.
Williams, who started with Colwood in 2010, developed a plan shortly afterward to reduce and discourage graffiti around the community. Through working with local businesses on prevention strategies, sharing information on tagging with neighbouring municipalities, and securing partnerships with B.C. Hydro and Rona to provide paint and supplies for removal, Williams oversaw a drop of 92 per cent in reported incidents between 2011 and last year.
Through the City Watch program, another project he spearheaded, City staff have begun playing a more active role in public safety. Public works staff receive training from the RCMP on watching for suspicious activity, reporting instances and the record-keeping that goes with it. In 2015 there were 24 occasions where staff helped police find lost children, assisted people with injuries and ensured a timely response to emergencies.
“We are not surprised, but are very proud that Phil has received this honour,” said Mayor Carol Hamilton in a release. “It is very well deserved. Phil has implemented several excellent initiatives … his dedication, integrity and positivity are evident in everything he does.”
Not only does Williams continue to oversee those two programs as part of his regular duties, he volunteers on the City’s community policing advisory committee, occupational health and safety committee and with the Emergency Management Program.