After July 1, Griffin Security still has the contract with the city for parks but the Downtown BIA has moved to Allegiance 1 Security. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

After July 1, Griffin Security still has the contract with the city for parks but the Downtown BIA has moved to Allegiance 1 Security. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Security changes coming to downtown Chilliwack

Some are critical but BIA says changes may actually make for a larger uniformed presence

Downtown businesses and residents may notice a different approach to security after Canada Day, but the Downtown Business Improvement Association (BIA) says not much will really change.

The BIA’s contract with Griffin Investigation & Security Services Ltd. ends as of July 1 and Allegiance 1 Security is taking over with a shift in methods. The board of directors for the BIA decided to go to a response-to-call system rather than proactive patrols, a move that Griffin CEO Brian Goldstone says is not a good idea.

“As a company in the BIA, and the security provider for the BIA, the change to the response-to-call system, in our expert opinion, will not provide the downtown businesses with the level of service they require,” Goldstone said in a letter.

City of Chilliwack Coun. Ken Popove also has reservations about the change, but he’s cautiously optimistic the new approach will work.

“I love what [Griffin] did and I’m not passing judgment on the new folks coming in, it’s going to be a to-be-determined thing,” Popove said. “From a councillor point of view, I just hope it doesn’t add more pressure to our RCMP.”

And therein lies some of the underlying debate and discussion about the subject of security downtown: How much should be paid for by individual businesses, how much by the BIA, and how much by the municipality?

Part of the issue with the change, too, is that Griffin was offering more services than they were being paid for and in renegotiation, the price tag was going to go much higher than the BIA was willing to pay. So a request-for-proposals was issued, but Goldstone didn’t bid on the contract.

“It’s skewed because Griffin gave them more than they were paying for,” Popove said. One of those extras was Goldstone and his employees got to know the people on the street, and in fact have been able to get a number of addicted individuals into detox in recent days, something Popove confirms is true.

“What Brian did is make relationships with those folks,” he said.

Under the current contract, a Griffin security guard is on day patrol six days a week in the downtown core. The new contract will be on-call, complaint driven.

This is part of what concerns Popove, but BIA executive director Kyle Williams said there won’t be much of a difference. In part, that’s because there are so many calls in the downtown area that security guards are often out much of the time anyway going from call to call. Add to the fact that Griffin still has its contract with the city to take care of parks in addition to other private contracts, there will be two security company’s downtown much of the time.

“We don’t think there will be that much of a difference,” Williams said. “If anything, the presence should look greater.”

Williams said the BIA board had philosophical discussions about what their role is with regards to policing and security and decided the price tag was becoming unaffordable.

Popove said the recent patrols by security guards with city bylaw and RCMP is making a huge and visible difference downtown.

“I want to keep the foot on the gas down there,” he said.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack Fire Department responded to a townhouse on fire on May 9, 2020, in the 6400-block of Vedder Road. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Townhouse fire in Sardis knocked down by Chilliwack firefighters

Vedder Road closed while crews work on Mother’s Day house fire

Chilliwack volunteer drivers are needed to help get cancer patients back and forth to Abbotsford (shown here), Surrey and Vancouver cancer clinics. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Volunteer drivers needed to expand cancer driver program to Chilliwack

Drivers will need to commit to one full day of driving, or two half days each week

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 9

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

An injection kit is seen inside a Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Hope’s high rate of drug overdose noted in BC Coroners Service report

Up-to-date numbers not available yet for 2021, but Fraser Health deaths on the rise

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country’s crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
IHIT investigating after man killed in Burnaby shooting

Police looking for more information on fatal shooting

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

After Bobby Henderson apologized online for his comments to a Toronto reporter, the Langley Rivermen announced that he was no longer team coach and general manager and in fact, had ‘parted ways’ with the franchise in March. (file/Twitter)
Former Langley Rivermen coach and GM apologizes for comments to Toronto reporter

Bobby Henderson blames stress due to the pandemic for his ‘disparaging’ remarks

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Most Read