We’ve seen task forces and action plans being discussed for years in Vernon, but it has become clear that we need forceful action, and now.
A woman stepped on a used needle recently at Kin Beach and must undergo rigid medical follow-ups to monitor for infectious diseases. She was there with her family, including her young children, who could have been the ones who got stuck by the stray syringe.
Businesses are having to relocate to get away from the downtown area after dealing with ongoing issues with discarded needles and debris, including feces-stained linens and clothing.
A local café was broken into, and the thieves took food. The owner repaired the door and then turned the incident into a positive by launching a food drive. Unfortunately, not all of these crimes have happy endings. It’s also one of many break-ins we’ve heard about over the past few months stemming from an increasingly desperate and marginalized segment of the population.
Vernon’s Activate Safety Task Force recently delivered a strong report that listed 40 recommendations, and chairman Darrin Taylor made an emotional and impassioned plea for meaningful action this time around. During his presentation to council on July 9, Taylor summed up the feelings of many when he said: “The people of Vernon have waited long enough, it’s time for action.”
This is not a new problem. We’re not the first community to face this. Many other cities and towns have created plans and executed on them with great success. Taylor’s report cites many of the steps that we need to take.
The mayor and council need to take these recommendations seriously and get rolling on them right away.