Two new community policing offices are in the process of being established in the Cowichan Valley, and volunteers are needed to help with their operations.
The South Cowichan Community Policing Advisory Society has announced that the two new offices will operate under the umbrella of the Cowichan Community Policing & Engagement Society.
In March, 2021, the Cowichan Bay Community Policing office was opened on a part-time basis because of the COVID-19 pandemic at 1721E Cowichan Bay Rd.
Office space for the North Cowichan/Duncan Community Policing Office at 5-2628 Beverly St. in Duncan has also recently been secured.
That office is currently being renovated and will have a “soft” opening on Nov. 1.
The societies are now looking for volunteers from the areas where the offices are located who have a keen interest in working together with the RCMP to formulate community incentives that address local crime and safety concerns relating to their own neighbourhoods.
Sarah Davidge-Cardinal, manager of programs and volunteers for both SCCPAS and CCP&ES, said the societies want to offer as many of their own programs as possible, and others that are tailored to the specific needs of the community they are serving.
“The important thing to remember is that we need volunteers in order to offer these programs,” she said.
Inspector Chris Bear, head of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, said the police are excited to be working with Davidge-Cardinal and her team of volunteers.
He said the community policing programs Davidge-Cardinal manages have been proven to have a significant positive impact on the communities served, in terms of safety, education, crime reduction and crime prevention.
“Corporal Cari Lougheed, is the detachment liaison, and she will be assisting and supporting Sarah to implement these programs in North Cowichan/Duncan and Cowichan Bay offices,” Bear said.
“We appreciate the conscientious and tireless hours that Sarah invested in [opening the two new offices].”
Some of the many programs offered by community policing offices include Block Watch, Speed Watch and Positive Tickets, in which young people who make healthy, positive, choices in relation to their behaviour are rewarded.
For more information, check out www.southcowichancommunitypolicing.ca or call the Cowichan Bay office at 250-597-1710, the Beverly Street office at 250-597-7927, or the Mill Bay office at 250-929-7222.