Community policing office relocating

Vernon Community Policing Office heading to the corner of 29th Street and 32nd Avenue July 29.

The Vernon Community Policing Office is vacating the only home it’s ever known.

Housed in the back of the Sun Valley Mall downtown, at the corner of Coldstream Avenue and 34th Street, since November 1999, the community policing office is heading across town to the former City of Vernon bylaws building at the corner of 29th Street and 32nd Avenue effective July 29.

“Part of the reason for the move is from the core review, making sure we are going into city-owned facilities instead of spending taxpayers’ money on rent,” said Rachael Zubick, community policing office coordinator.

“And the lease was up.”

The community policing office is, as Zubick describes, a storefront and educational facility.

It’s where people come to ask questions about drugs, bullying, personal and home safety, and where they can pick up completed criminal record checks from the RCMP detachment.

“People will also come and talk to us when they’re not too sure where to go when dealing with bylaw matters or whether they even realize it’s a bylaw matter,” said Zubick. “They’ll come to us when they’re home has been broken into and they need more information about where to go from there.”

Things like a dead goose and other interesting items have been brought to the community policing office to find out what the next thing to do is. Zubick relies on a bevy of volunteers to help things run smoothly.

“My volunteers are the most amazing thing and the reason why this unit manages to maintain what we have to date,” she said. “The majority of my volunteers have been with me for five-to-10 years, and there are 30 of them.

“We’re always looking for volunteers. We have several different areas where people can help.”

The Vernon Community Policing Office is part of the City of Vernon RCMP Safe Communities Unit, which is also moving effective July 29.

The safe communities unit will be housed in Vernon City Hall, and is home to the business/seniors, rural, regional and crime prevention coordinators.

Restorative Justice Society North Okanagan also moves from Sun Valley Mall to city hall.