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QUESNELCommunities in BC that adopt a new program that involves municipal workers in the fight against crime are safer as a result of the joint effort, says CUPE BC president Barry ONeill, who will deliver a presentation on the unions City Watch program at Quesnel city council tonight (7pm)

The program, which is already in effect in several B.C. municipalities, is a joint effort of labour, civic officials and local police to reduce crime rates by providing extra eyes and ears for the community. Under City Watch, municipal workers are trained to recognize potential criminal activity and report suspicious behaviour.

Weve had a lot of success with City Watch where its been introduced, says ONeill. Local residents appreciate having an extra set of eyes and ears to help law enforcement officials, and the police appreciate it because it makes their job easier. Its also good for our members, because it shows how committed municipal workers are to the communities they live in.

ONeills presentation to Quesnel city council will focus on how the program works and the successes so far. City Watch has already been launched in Victoria, Ladysmith, Chilliwack, the district of Kent, Langley township, Kamloops and Prince George. Training begins next month for a City Watch program in Burnaby.

ONeill, back in the North as part of a provincial tour, will serve lunch tomorrow at the St. Vincent De Pauls soup kitchen in Prince George.


Contact: Barry ONeill, CUPE BC president, 604-916-8444 or Dan Gawthrop, Communications, 604-255-7501 (cel).