Expect to see increased police visibility on the North Shore in the future. A new 3-year service plan has been designed and implemented by the North Vancouver police department to serve from 2016 through to 2018. In an interview with Lonsdale Life, Supt. Chris Kennedy, Officer in Charge of the North Vancouver RCMP, explained how it works.
The new Service Plan will provide a ‘road map’ for the Detachment, assisting with decision-making about where and how to use police resources to best serve North Vancouver. The process began back on October 02, 2015 when the public was given the opportunity to participate in an anonymous online survey that consisted of questions related to policing, crime, and public safety in North Vancouver.
“Previously there was never a strategic plan like this,” said Superintendent Kennedy. “We met with the mayors and councillors, the business community and the First Nations that our department serves and asked for their feedback. We hired a consultant to see exactly what the issues were. For instance, traffic congestion is always a constant complaint. Another reply is that the public wants to see officers on the street in person.”
Officers were encouraged to further connect with the community following the input of both the community and that of the officers, according to Insp. Jennifer Hyland, Operations Officer, who spearheaded the Detachment Service Plan. There were three strategic directions that have been identified as priorities. Priority one is increased police visibility. More officers will be assigned to street patrols and roadblocks.
“We have always had two officers on foot patrol in the Lower Lonsdale area and that will continued,” reported Kennedy. “We will assign foot patrols to other streets. We will keep an exact record of data for a dedicated computer filing system in order to track efficiency and accountability. Not just 911 calls that we have always tracked, but all calls.”
Strategic direction two is to demonstrate accountability through effective management, resulting in increased communication with the community. The new plan also fosters public knowledge of RCMP services and achievements, thereby improving awareness, understanding and support. Strategic direction three is to “optimize use of resources” by ensuring effective and efficient operations and enhancing detachment operations through improved internal communications.
According to Media Relations Officer Richard de Jong, property crime is on the increase in the Lower Mainland, and in particular theft from vehicles (iPods, purses, cameras and even pocket change) and theft of new and expensive carbon fibre bicycles. “Out of sight is out of mind,” reported de Jong. “Leave nothing in your car at all. It’s not just the theft of your property, it’s the huge inconvenience of replacing your identification, reporting to ICBC, replacing your goods. There is a ripple effect that spreads the damage. Nothing happens in isolation.”
By: Staff Writer