The city’s bylaw enforcement department is now located on Shoppers Row, at a newly established office. Photo courtesy City of Campbell River

Bylaw enforcement office opens in downtown Campbell River

‘Checkpoint for RCMP’ meant to increase safety

A newly opened “safety office” on Shoppers Row is now home to the city’s bylaw enforcement department, which added a third officer to its corps as part of an effort to “focus resources on community safety,” according to a media release from the city.

The office, located beside the Harbourside Inn’s beer and wine store, will also serve as a “checkpoint for RCMP officers” and the volunteer-run Citizens on Patrol group, along with municipal security and parking officers.

It comes as a response to complaints about incidents including fights and harassment in the downtown area. The office is part of a plan involving increased foot patrols and an effort to “build connections with and among social service providers,” according to Mayor Andy Adams.

“We anticipate that this initiative will better serve vulnerable people as they connect with social services,” Adams said in the media release. He added that it would create a “more welcoming, safe and friendly downtown for everyone.”

Expenses related to the initiative are covered by the city’s gaming reserve, a fund generated through lottery and casino revenue. Costs are expected to reach $176,000 this year, including the new bylaw officer, the lease and “one-time workstation and security installations.”

That figure also includes costs associated with a working group looking into downtown safety issues. Members of that committee will represent “diverse interests from downtown businesses, public facilities, law enforcement authorities and social service providers,” according to the city.

The group will be tasked with reviewing recommendations from an RCMP crime analyst, and working with street-level social service agencies, according to city manager Deborah Sargent.

The release added that costs for the coming two years are “estimated at $129,000.”

@davidgordonkoch
david.koch@campbellrivermirror.com

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