Co-operation is being promoted to address criminal activity in downtown Vernon.
About 25 people attended a meeting Monday to discuss recent commercial break-ins.
“We talked about the issues and everyone expressed their concerns,” said Lindsay James, with Scarlet Studio and Artisan Market, who organized the session.
Among those present were the RCMP and community policing.
“They calmed our fears and talked about our own responsibilities for protecting ourselves,” said James. “We found out about what resources are available in the community and why the city and the RCMP do what they do.”
A representative from the Upper Room Mission also spoke about its programs and the challenges facing residents with addiction or mental health.
The next step is likely future meetings among the merchants as well as groups like the Downtown Vernon Association.
“We want to keep the lines of communication open,” said James, adding that Monday’s session is establishing relationships between business owners.
“It was all about getting to know each other.”