After successfully keeping an eye on the former Vancouver Island University building on Cowichan Way, nine security guards from the Cowichan Tribes Guardian Crew have expanded their duties to include the troubled Boys Road area.
Since VIU relocated to its new campus in 2011, the Guardian Crew has kept an eye on the old site near the Cowichan River, working successfully to prevent drinking, violence and vandalism.
â€œIt pretty much calmed everything down in the area,â€ said Guardian Jason Seward. â€œIf it does happen, as soon as we show up, theyâ€™re moving on.â€
â€œItâ€™s dealt with quickly and effectively,â€ his colleague, Peter Moses, added.
In the Boys Road neighbourhood, their duties will expand to include preventing incidents like fights and break-and-enters.
â€œIt will be a little bit more challenging than at VIU,â€ Seward acknowledged.
The Guardians are confident that they will be as effective in their new area as they have been at the old VIU site.
â€œEventually it will start falling into place like it did at VIU,â€ John Charlie said.
Residents of the Boys Road area have welcomed the Guardians with open arms.
â€œPeople are saying itâ€™s about time,â€ Seward said. â€œTheyâ€™re glad weâ€™re doing it,â€ said Seward.
Unlike at VIU, where they kept an eye primarily on a building and its surrounding area, at Boys road they will have people to assist as well, including family members.
â€œMy mom lives in that area, so it will be good to be up there and protect her and the other elders that live up there,â€ Charlie said.
As has been the case at the old VIU location, the Guardians will be highly visible, wearing uniforms and with security signs on their vehicles. They also expect to have a little more involvement with the RCMP and other areas of Cowichan Tribes. So far, their relationship with the RCMP has been positive.
â€œContact with them has been pretty good,â€ Moses said.
Seward said that the Guardians plan to meet with the RCMP to make sure they are on the same page regarding Boys Road.
â€œHopefully it will work out and weâ€™ll have a better relationship,â€ he said.
All of the Guardians are looking forward to their expanded responsibilities and optimistic about the results.
â€œWeâ€™ll be there whenever something starts to happen,â€ Seward said.