Community Policing funds keep the lights on

When Carol Ann Rolls came to the Cowichan Valley Regional District Board meeting this month she looked tired.

The longtime backbone of Cowichan Community Policing seemed almost resigned as she asked the board to increase funding to the group, which has not seen a financial raise since 2005.

The years of having to organize and hold fundraising events seemed etched on her demeanour as she described the problem of losing volunteers who had joined to do crime prevention work, but whose duties had increasingly fallen into the realm of selling lottery tickets to try to keep the doors open instead.

It’s easy to understand why someone who has signed up to do Citizens on Patrol or Speedwatch might not want to have to instead carry the burden of bringing in tens of thousands of dollars for core operational funds.

We were very pleased to see the board unanimously, and with no foot-dragging, grant Rolls’s request. Community Policing serves a very important function in Cowichan’s communities.

Their work on crime prevention saves the RCMP time and dollars that can be put towards apprehending the area’s lawbreakers. It also helps residents to buy into the idea that they can help to keep their own communities safe. Secure, happy communities are a collective responsibility, not just something imposed by a paid police force.

But the funding and fundraising struggles described by Rolls are all too familiar and not limited to Community Policing. Many other organizations and societies in Cowichan, and indeed, around the province and the country, are struggling to secure their futures as expenses increase and previous funding sources dry up.

Many of these organizations have also had a lot of responsibility downloaded onto them as provincial and federal governments make draconian cuts to programs and services, particularly for the poor and needy, and give tax breaks to those who don’t really need it.

Our local governments have also taken on the funding burden as these organizations turn to them for money.

Responsibility needs to be sent back up the food chain.

Submit your letter to the editor online We want to hear from you! Submitting a letter to the editor is now easier than ever – you can do it online by going to the Cowichan Valley Citizen website, www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com, and clicking on the Opinion tab. Then click Send us a letter.

Write 300 words or less on the topic of your choice, include your full name (first and last), and a town you hail from.

Include a phone number (which is not printed) so that we can verify your authorship.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Chemainus artist’s painting of a front-line worker a powerful image

Chemainus artist puts her creative touch to COVID Angel

Drivesmart column: Traffic calming in your neighbourhood

Since the police are only part of the solution, what are the alternatives?

COVID-19 means different graduations for Cowichan students in 2020

At Lake Cowichan students did the traditional hat toss

Mary Lowther column: Pre-sprouting corn in paper towels

My new packet of spinach didn’t grow when I put the seeds directly into potting soil

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Most Read