Jon Stuart is settling into his new role as Nanaimo Community Policing program coordinator. (Photo submitted)

Jon Stuart is settling into his new role as Nanaimo Community Policing program coordinator. (Photo submitted)

Former Mountie is Nanaimo’s new community policing coordinator

Jon Stuart setting into new role after 26 years of service with RCMP

Nanaimo Community Policing volunteers are faced with the task of breaking in a new addition to the team.

Jon Stuart, former sergeant with the Nanaimo RCMP, recently retired after 26 years with the force and has been hired as the city’s new community policing coordinator.

Stuart takes over the position from Christy Wood, now working as a social planner with the city.

Stuart, who said his new job is way less stressful than police work, will have his first meeting with Nanaimo’s 39 community policing volunteers Wednesday, June 29 and hear what they have to say and what ideas they’d like to try moving forward.

Stuart said Wood left the program in “really good shape” with a great group of volunteers.

“I just want to touch base with the volunteers and see what they want…” he said. “Let’s see what they can come up with and pick from their ideas.”

As for introducing new ideas of his own into the program, Stuart said there are so many community policing programs already in place he’ll need some time to review them as he settles into his new job.

The community policing program is a co-operative venture between the city and Nanaimo RCMP detachment. Its volunteers carry out a wide range of crime-prevention operations within the city and encourage the public to become involved in crime-prevention initiatives.

According to the program’s website, an effective strategy for building community safety is one in which citizens play a key role in community development in partnership with the police and other social service agencies.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo community policing devotes over 500 hours watching for criminal incidents

Stuart said community policing volunteers can be seen operating speed watch boards in school zones, attending community events and patrolling neighbourhoods to look for suspicious occurrences and activities, which they report to police. They also take part in promoting and operating crime reduction and prevention programs, such as the 529 Garage bicycle registry program that helps deter bike theft and return stolen bikes to rightful owners.

“They’re the kind of people that, really, their whole life, they’ve given. They’re the kind of people that have always done something like this or something in the past. They’re driven, really, just by helping out,” Stuart said. “They know that there’s a lot of pressures in policing. They want to know what’s going on. They want to help out and they’re just really a great bunch of volunteers.”

Stuart said community policing volunteers also take part in community events and will be out at Maffeo Sutton Park for Canada Day, July 1. To learn more about Nanaimo Community Policing, visit www.nanaimocpvolunteers.ca.

READ ALSO: Next round of safety audits happening in Nanaimo’s University District and Diver Lake area



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CrimeRCMPvolunteers