February 16, 2004

Safety In Our Community

We went to the Safety In Our Community meeting tonight sponsored by the Burnaby RCMP and the Edmonds Town Centre Business Association.

The police made presentations on how they were dealing with the drug trade, prostitution and property crimes in the southeast section of Burnaby. They stressed that they needed the active support of the community, and that citizens needed to be their "eyes and ears" and report any suspicious activity.

They did their best to keep the meeting proactive and positive, however there were many complaints about slow or no response.

I have to give them credit for standing up there and letting people complain, however I was disappointed to see the superintendant go bureaucratic and avoid answering one simple question: "Are you understaffed and is there any way citizens can pressure government for more officers?"

There was no yes or no, just a rambling tale of 5-year plans, increased efficiencies, negotiating with the city and the federal government, and, and....

As for revolving-door justice, all of the officers were careful not to be too accusatory, however they did allow that they had issues with the justice system, and that citizens had to express their outrage to their MPs and MLAs.

One of the officers had responded to a call I made last year when my wife and I found what appeared to be a gasoline bomb in Byrne Creek -- it was a 2-litre plastic bottle with batteries and a contact switch taped to the end. After the meeting ended I approached him, and he remembered the incident. I gave him a Byrne Creek Streamkeepers brochure, and said we were in the ravine and checking the creek almost every day, and were happy to be "eyes and ears."

I also gave the corporal in charge of community policing in our district our business card, and said my wife was willing to do Japanese interpreting if they ever had a need for it.

As for CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Destruction :-), when members of our streamkeepers group complained to one of the officers about all the brush that had been clearcut along the creek, the response was: "Tough."

Ah, well, we'll continue working with the police, and gradually brainwash them into leaving the riparian zone alone :-).

Posted by Paul at February 16, 2004 10:25 PM