Nanaimo’s community policing and services office. (News Bulletin file photo)

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Community policing office’s closure will impact safety in the area

Strong police and bylaw presence needed in neighbourhood, say letter writers

To the editor,

Re: Community policing office closing, association upset, May 13.

Nanaimo city council is daft. Or are they just naive and do not care about the safety of taxpayers?

Voting to close the downtown safety office is the most absurd thing I have heard of from this city council in these times of increased crime, lawlessness, open illegal drug use, lean-tos, shopping carts and garbage strewn everywhere.

OK, police have not been stationed permanently there but according to news reports, RCMP officers regularly attend the office where former police officers, now bylaw officers are stationed.

These bylaw officers are spending almost 100 per cent of their time dealing with the homeless, graffiti, garbage and needles downtown and can deal with the problems on the spot or get a faster response from other agencies when they are the ones who call. Having these personnel even a couple blocks away is now hiding them behind thicker barriers from the very store owners and taxpayers downtown they have been hired to serve.

Closing the office to save taxpayers $40,000 a year, while the city spends $400,000 on the first phase of bike lanes downtown is nuts. Safety of taxpayers over bike lanes, any day. Keep it open.

D.M. Churchbridge, Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Downtown association asking City of Nanaimo to revisit closure of community policing office

To the editor,

City council should reconsider the motion to close the community policing and services office. The members of the Victoria Crescent Association make some excellent points why there needs to be a police and bylaw presence in this area downtown. Why abandon supports for business in this vulnerable part of our city?

There’s no potential to have partners (who have not been identified or may not even exist) to work in the office space?

To save $40,000 a year on rent and utility bills? Seriously? How much will it cost the taxpayers for loss of business, for damage to property and for turning this area over to individuals who may have serious health, addiction or mental health problems?

This area requires a plan developed with the businesses in the area, the community association, the RCMP, the city and others, to work out some solutions to deal effectively with the serious issues that spill over to the businesses in the mall and those that surround Victoria Crescent.

I agree with this statement in the report: “the CPSO should not be viewed as a panacea that reduces crime or disorder in the area.”

Nelson Allen, Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Nanaimo’s downtown community policing office closing

To the editor,

Re: Community policing office closing, association upset, May 13.

What is not right with this picture?

The City of Nanaimo councillors’ decision to terminate the lease on the community policing office is saving $40,000, but the money could have been acquired from the multi-millions used to keep vital services in the community open.

Closing the community policing office is going to cost well over $40,000 and have a much greater impact on the already existing problems that currently affect the downtown and the people who live and work there. What about the effect on tourism?

City council is showing its true colours when it prefers to save $40,000 over safety concerns for the downtown.

Al Munro, Nanaimo

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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