A new community policing office will open at Cultus Lake Park as the upshot of concerns raised by the public about rising crime.
“We heard from the Cultus Lake Park community that security around the Park is a priority,” said Cultus Lake Park Board chair Joe Lamb. “As a result, the Board and staff undertook an in-depth review of how we could do better in this area.”
A memorandum of understanding signed last week by reps from the Park Board, City of Chilliwack and RCMP is the result of that research, he said.
The new community policing office will be located inside the Visitor Centre at Cultus Lake Park.
According to the details of the MOU “dedicated RCMP officers will be stationed at the Park from the May long weekend to the end of the September long weekend, providing law enforcement coverage during the Park’s busiest season.”
The community policing presence will be in addition to the existing RCMP boat patrols that get underway during the summer.
“This Board has clearly said that community-building is an important part of our promise to the leaseholders of Cultus Lake Park. The new Community Policing effort is one component of how we are bringing that commitment to life,” Chair Lamb added.
In the off-season however, normal policing coverage will resume.
According to the MOU, Cultus Lake Park will be reimbursing the city at 100 per cent of the costs for the summertime policing.
“Chilliwack city council has made public safety a priority and has already committed to adding six new RCMP members to the Chilliwack detachment in 2019,” said Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove.
The city is adding a seventh member who will serve Chilliwack during the non-summer months.
“Having dedicated policing services at the Cultus Lake Visitor Centre will eliminate additional travel time, making more efficient use of the RCMP members serving both communities,” Popove added.
Chilliwack’s top cop also sees the potential for efficiency.
“I am pleased the City of Chilliwack and the Cultus Lake Park Board have come together in partnership with the Chilliwack RCMP to enhance the delivery of policing services for the Cultus Lake Park community,” said Supt. Bryon Massie, the Officer in Charge of the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment.
Security at Sunnyside Campground will continue to be managed by a third-party security firm.