West Shore Serge: Working together for safer communities

We all sleep a little better knowing we have neighbours watching out for neighbours.

We all sleep a little better knowing we have neighbours watching out for neighbours. That’s the premise that drives the British Columbia Crime Prevention Association, which has been working to keep communities safer for the past 35 years.

The BCCPA is a federally and provincially registered charity supported by corporations, small businesses, non-profit groups, police services, municipalities and individuals working together to implement crime prevention and crime reduction strategies in their communities. More than 500 communities throughout the province are BCCPA members.

The determination, dedication and cooperation of the 200 delegates and the different agencies they represent was on full, yet understated display at the BCCPA training symposium, which took place Nov. 3 to 5 in Burnaby.

The common thread that binds this diverse group together is the desire to learn about what more they can do to increase the positive impact they foster within their community.

You would be hard pressed to talk to anyone in the BCCPA who wouldn’t be quick to give credit to the volunteers from these different agencies — your neighbours, my neighbours — for the successes the organization has achieved.

If there’s a drop in break and enters because of a Block Watch program, a reduction in vehicles racing through school zones because of the efforts of Speed Watch, or a runaway child located by Realty Watch, it’s due to the efforts of volunteers who care enough to give the time it takes to get involved in programs that make a significant difference.

Cpl. Kathy Rochlitz, head of Community Policing for the West Shore RCMP, made a presentation at the symposium on Keep in Touch (KIT), assisted by two volunteers from the program. They make daily calls to the mainly seniors registered with KIT to check on their wellbeing and provide some contact and conversation.

The presentation was well received, and several volunteer program coordinators expressed interest in launching a KIT program in their communities, Rochlitz noted.

“The KIT program is a great example of the positive difference volunteers make within the community,” Rochlitz said. “The West Shore RCMP is proud to have, and is well-served by our 100 plus volunteers.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the West Shore RCMP’s volunteer opportunities, contact the West Shore RCMP Community Policing Section at 250-391-3327.

Rick.Stiebel@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

—Rick Stiebel is the Langford-RCMP community liaison.