North Vancouver, B.C. – In an effort to increase the safety and security of residents, the District of North Vancouver, CUPE BC and North Vancouver RCMP will soon implement District Watch, a first for the North Shore.
District Watch (also known as City Watch) is a community safety program and CUPE BC initiative, designed to prevent and reduce crime by encouraging municipal workers to alert police to any suspicious activity they might witness while on the job.
“We’re pleased to be part of this important program,” said North Vancouver District Mayor Janice Harris. “Statistics show that most crime is committed during the day when people are at work. Anything that our employees can do to increase the well-being of residents and their property is a welcome initiative.”
District employees work in virtually every corner of the community including cutting grass in local parks, maintaining roadways and collecting garbage. They work in parks, laneways, recreation facilities, on the streets and near schools. Many employees also live in the District and know the area quite well, which makes the District Watch program even more effective.
“Through our work as District employees, we are intimately familiar with our community,” notes Cindy McQueen, president of CUPE 389. “District Watch will help us serve as the eyes and ears of our community.”
District staff will be trained on how the District Watch program works and learn important techniques such as how to identify suspicious activity, report crime and how to identify a suspect. All licensed District vehicles, from trucks and vans to backhoes, will soon carry the District Watch logo.
Adds North Vancouver RCMP Superintendent Gord Tomlinson, “This is another terrific example of the police and community sharing the responsibility to make our community and our homes safe. With the help of the eyes and ears of the District employees, we will be better able to ensure that there will be someone always watching for illegal activities.”
Other B.C. municipalities that have implemented CUPE BC’s District Watch program include Victoria, Burnaby, Kamloops, Ladysmith, Chilliwack, Prince George, District of Kent and Township of Langley. The program has also been approved in principle in Delta.
For more information, contact:
District of North Vancouver Communications at 604-990-2459
CUPE Communications at 604-291-1940, extension 240