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.

Just Posted

Furstenau introduces bill to prevent solid waste in quarries

Cowichan Valley’s MLA says water safety a priority

Check out ‘Kim’s Convenience’ to cash in on family humour

Originally a play and then a TV show, immigrant story features much more in store

Encore! Women’s Choir is celebrating their 10th anniversary with a show April 28

It’s been a great decade and they’re happy to share their music with you

Open houses to talk Motorsport expansion

The Circuit has applied to North Cowichan for rezoning to accommodate the expansion

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Coming up in Cowichan: Earth Day Weekend, plant sale

Every Wednesday morning a group of 18 volunteer gardeners arrives at Cairnsmore Place

Trump says North Korea agreed to denuclearize. It hasn’t.

Trump is claiming that North Korea has agreed to “denuclearization” before his potential meeting with Kim, but that’s not the case.

Suspect in deadly Waffle House shooting still being sought

Police say Travis Reinking is the suspect in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant Sunday in Nashville that left four people dead.

G7 warned of Russian threats to western democracy

Ukraine foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin warns G7 of Russian war against Western democracy

Royal baby: It’s a boy for Kate and William

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to her third child, a boy weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Most Read