The City of Nanaimo held a public safety engagement session Wednesday night at the Beban Park social centre. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Forum gets people working together on public safety

City of Nanaimo held a public safety engagement session Wednesday at the Beban Park social centre

Public safety is a topic that’s trending in Nanaimo these days and it was the subject of a community forum this week.

The City of Nanaimo held a public safety engagement session Wednesday night at the Beban Park social centre.

Public disorder, RCMP priorities, emergency management, derelict buildings, the Community Policing and Services Office, city bylaws, public safety education and home safety were the chosen topics, discussed in a world café format where members of the public rotated from table to table over the course of the evening.

Vancouver Island University masters of community planning students facilitated and city staff and members of council were there to participate.

Coun. Gord Fuller said a range of topics were discussed at his table, but much of the conversation was about the increased number of people experiencing homelessness and related safety and security concerns. He said he’s noticed, “big time,” that public safety is top-of-mind in Nanaimo lately.

RELATED: Camps removed, safety order issued at A&B Sound building

RELATED: Homeless activity leads to more security and cleanups at Nanaimo schools

RELATED: Councillors warned that inaction in overdose crisis is ‘worst-case scenario’

He said people at his table also talked about possible impacts of more supportive housing, and asked for increased lighting in certain areas of the city.

At other tables, residents asked for more police, bylaw enforcement and mental health support. A few tables mentioned long-term solutions were necessary, with a need for housing cited a few times.

“One of the things we talked about is education, and this can be education for community members who are coming here with a specific issue in mind and then learning about other things,” Fuller said.

He said there’s a tendency for individuals or groups to want something in particular when sometimes what’s needed is for different groups and community members and levels of government “to put all that aside and come together and work towards accomplishing a mutual goal. It doesn’t matter who gets credit for that goal, but working towards getting there.”

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong cautioned that with some of the solutions proposed, there could be “roadblocks.” She said the city was anticipating a report on the engagement session in a week or two.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Truck hits rock, rolls over, gets wrecked

Accident happened Saturday night along South Forks Road

Propeller problem causes cancellation of 38 ferry sailings

B.C. Ferries is advising that repairs to one of the vessels are taking longer than expected

Steaks stolen from supermarket in Nanaimo

Shopping basket full of steak taken from the Save-On-Foods at Country Club Centre

Taxing Vancouver Island

Big Read: find out which communities are paying the lowest and highest taxes on Vancouver Island

Lawyer fired in Nanaimo courtroom during trial for dangerous driving causing death

Dustin Dennis Zinter was charged following November 2015 accident in Cedar

Nanaimo celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

Event held Thursday at Maffeo Sutton Park

First robotics competition whirs into Nanaimo school district

Students put their robots to the task at event

One petition opposes tent city, one petition supports it

Two petitions set up on this week regarding Nanaimo’s Discontent City

First regularly scheduled jet airplane service from Nanaimo takes off

Nanaimo Airport celebrates launch of Air Canada’s non-stop seasonal service to and from Toronto

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Nanaimo woman graduates high school at age 92

Joan Deebank is the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as the ministry can confirm

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Most Read