For years Williams Lake councils — and citizens — have bemoaned the city’s high crime rate.
Over the years, different councils have come up with ideas to do something about it, so I was surprised last week when the current council denied extra funding for Community Policing, our long-time efficient and cost-effective volunteer group who work with the RCMP to prevent and reduce crime in the community.
The group, founded in 1995, has been without a safety co-ordinator since Dave Dickson retired in December, 2019. Not having a co-ordinator is bad enough, but now council has denied the group’s request for adding $6,000 to its annual $15,000 fee for service, the first increase in several years. There are operating expenses attached to running the program, surely the volunteers need help on that score.
Along with mega hours spent on Citizens on Patrol. WLCP members are involved with numerous programs, including Restorative Justice and Operation Red Nose. When the group appeared at council last summer, they were encouraged to apply for help in 2021.
What happened since then to change the minds of the four councillors who didn’t support the increase?
I’m perplexed by the decision, and hope council will reconsider. Voters understand the difficulty in finding the thousands (millions?) of dollars needed to upgrade the city’s water system, but will $6,000 break the bank? Maybe some of the money saved by not having a co-ordinator for a year could be used to help the group.
Signs of the times. Since the Coronavirus arrived in our community, eight members of my family have been tested for the virus because of flu-like symptoms or possible exposure to positive cases. They all tested negative.
And, have you noticed people are saying “stay safe” instead of “have a good day” as a parting comment?
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian and book author.