City workers keep watch out for crime

The City of Vernon’s unionized workers will be keeping an eye on criminal activity.

CUPE has launched City Watch, a program in which the city’s 290 employees will be trained to keep an eye out for crime. Those incidents will then be reported.

“Most CUPE members live in or near Vernon so there is a vested interest in ensuring that the city is safe and secure for all of our families,” said Ken Juniper, president of the union local.

Juniper added that many employees are travelling around the community on a daily basis and that puts them in the position of being alert to activities going on.

“The RCMP benefit by having trained, watchful eyes and listening ears on the streets. The city benefits by having safer streets.

“Most importantly, when citizens see the City Watch logo on a sign or on a city vehicle, they have one more reason to feel secure in their community,” said Juniper.

City Watch was started in Richmond many years ago and is now in place across the province.

Besides crime, the Vernon employees will report safety concerns to the fire department and the bylaw division.

Risk management issues such as broken sidewalks will also be reported.

City officials are pleased with the union’s actions.

“They are a partner in community safety,” said fire chief John Lysholm.

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