By Larry Murray
Published: March. 24, 2012.
I hope we as a community will be able to support a concrete police presence in the downtown.
Squamish has lost its courthouse which brought the RCMP more often into the downtown but now, with the Community Police Office still closed, it means the local criminals are having their way with downtown Squamish with greater ease and less endeavour.
The crime stats map also demonstrates the crime locations, and downtown is certainly one of those locations.
Yes, the RCMP know who the bad guys are and could nab them but to what avail? The courts are clogged and the type of crime is not at the Bacon Brother’s level so, the bad guys are almost immune to arrest and prosecution.
So what is to be done?
It seems to me that the valuable crime prevention programs hosted by the Community Poilicing Office are a solid answer. A safe community is a valuable asset and the small time criminals know that downtown Squamish is not a safe place for them.
The cost of re-opening the CPO in light of all the budget costs is a question mark. But not if the question is – Is it important to have a safer downtown? The answer is quite easy. If not the existing building, then what other property downtown could be used? Is there a developer looking for a community amenity?
Is there a cheaper Cleveland Street location? Are there organizations that could partner with DOS to fund/support the CPO? – Real Estate Board? Chamber of Commerce? Service Clubs? Is the highway traffic rebate funding not for such purposes?
I sense some immediate creative thinking might define an innovative answer to this question. Regardless, downtown Squamish needs to recapture its safe zone environment for all current and new comers who want to call the downtown home.
Currently, the CPO is out of sight and out of mind. Please bring this decision back to the table.