Despite the recent push by Columbia Valley RCMP in favour of establishing a Communities On Patrol (COP) program in several valley communities, it appears the Village of Radium Hot Springs won’t be taking part, at least in that specific program.
During a June 27 Radium council meeting, councillor Karen Larsen reported her findings after attending a COP workshop and hearing back from those who participated, and said there was a nearly unanimous opinion that the COP program was too time-intensive and carried too much responsibility for the average citizen.
She said many people felt that the COP program encouraged participants to take on what are felt to be traditionally RCMP responsibilities, including forms of speed traps.
Instead, the idea was brought forward to do a similar program that had a neighbourhood focus as opposed to a community-wide program. This new initiative would see neighbourhoods assign block captains who would compile information to be given to RCMP if needed, and signs would be placed informing visitors that participating neighbourhoods are under the watch of such a program.
Larsen said she was hopeful the RCMP would give a similar level of support to any new programs as what they had promised to give to the COP initiative, and planned on going door-to-door in the community to see what kind of response she could get. Council said there were approximately 25 people up to that point who had expressed some kind of interest in a community watch program, so it remains to be seen what kind of response this new initiative will receive.