Security beefed up in Polson Park

Vernon council agreed Tuesday to spend up to $13,000 for an increased bylaw officer presence in the park until Nov. 3

More money is being directed into security at Vernon’s Polson Park.

City council agreed Tuesday to spend up to $13,000 for an increased bylaw officer presence in the park until Nov. 3.

“We need to do what we can do. We need to address the issue,” said Coun. Scott Anderson.

Some residents have expressed concerns about not feeling safe in Polson Park because of drug activity or homelessness.

“The presence of uniforms tends to keep lawlessness at a minimum,” said Anderson.

Bylaw compliance currently has two seasonal programs that are focused on the downtown core, parks

and homeless concerns. Two temporary, full-time bylaw officers are operational from June until Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and two additional, temporary part-time officers are patrol downtown between 7 and 11 a.m. weekdays, but that will also end in October.

“Extending the hours of this downtown patrol from the four-hour shift to a seven-hour shift, with a focus on Polson Park during those extended hours, is a recommended step to immediately increase the presence of bylaw officers in the park,” states a staff report. The costs associated with increasing the current

Coun. Catherine Lord says enhance security has been effective in the park but she has concerns about the cost.

“I’d like to get a handle on how much money we’ve spent on bylaw enforcement since 2015,” she said.

“It’s come in piece-meal. There’s been extra here and extra there now we’re adding more.”