The new patrols include RCMP, bylaw and security personnel. This photo was from a training scenario. (Chilliwack Progress file photo)

Patrols in Chilliwack add both police presence and enforcement

New daytime patrols out to cut crime and vandalism in Chilliwack

It’s an enforcement effort featuring RCMP, bylaw and Griffin Security personnel.

Small teams have been patrolling parts of Chilliwack every day, said Coun. Ken Popove, who is acting mayor for the next while.

The new Enforcement and Visibility Initiative kicked off on April 24, and one business owner is calling it “amazing.”

“I own The Book Man downtown and was just visited by two police officers, two bylaw enforcement officers and a Griffin Security officer to let me know that they would be doing regular Downtown patrols and were available to help as needed,” posted Amber Price on social media.

“They asked how things were going, shook my hand, and were a dominating presence. Wonderful to see this kind of response from our city and valued RCMP officers to some of the recent challenges downtown.”

The idea is thwarting crime, and preventing bylaw infractions, with increased visibility and street patrols by these individuals in uniform.

“It’s happening every day at staggered times,” said Coun. Popove. “They are checking out the hotspots and shaking people up.”

The idea came from residents who have been asking City of Chilliwack to do something to create a visible presence in the streets and city parks, to put a stop to the open drug peddling and using.

Some have asked why not have the patrols active at night, when certain types of crime is more likely to occur, but RCMP patrols are ongoing at night, said Popove.

It is all about a presence during the day.

The new Visibility and Enforcement initiative is part of council’s ongoing efforts to make Chilliwack citizens feel safe and secure.

“We want people to feel safe,” said Popove.

The teamwork approach also strengthens relationships between the enforcement groups, helping create “a cohesive response” to challenges in Chilliwack, said Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

Many residents have also commented to team members how nice it is to see them walking around town.

Although it is too early to “effectively track its success,” according city reps, Griffin Security has already noticed a decrease in calls about vandalism and shoplifting.