Extra security in downtown Vernon over the summer season resulted in 10 calls to RCMP, four calls to bylaw and one call to both fire and ambulance services. Now, Protective Services is hoping City of Vernon councillors will continue the service in 2021.
In a report to council ahead of the Tuesday, Oct. 13 meeting, Protective Services provided a summary of seasonal security in the downtown business improvement areas between May and September. The program was first approved by council Oct. 28, 2019.
The presence of a marked security vehicle in the area seven nights a week between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. maintained a visible presence in the downtown core during peak season.
Security’s job was primarily to observe, record and report any occurrences that may arise within the core business improvement areas.
While several of the observations recorded by on-duty security was not breaking any bylaws, they were still reported.
Additional security monitoring the downtown core led to the quick reporting of an overdose to BC Ambulance and a garbage can fire to Vernon Fire Rescue Services.
Calls to RCMP were made on a priority basis, the report to council reads. These calls ranged from open drug use and temporary shelter to an attempted break and enter which resulted in the arrest of one individual.
In total, the seasonal security recorded 796 files in its five months of observation.
The Downtown Vernon Association said it didn’t receive any feedback from business owners, but offered its support for the presence of a marked security patrol overnight.
The cost of the additional security is around $33,000 for the service which runs May 1 to Sept. 30.
City staff has recommended council directs administration to bring forward a Service Level Adjustment for the 2021 seasonal contract to be considered during next year’s budget discussions.