RCMP holding meet-and-greets downtown

Local RCMP and downtown business owners are working together to make their jobs more pleasant.

Local RCMP and downtown business owners are working together to make their jobs more pleasant.

Officers will be entering and speaking to all downtown business owners over the course of the summer in order to gather intelligence, offer crime reduction tips and talk about any concerns owners may have about their business and the downtown core.

“We just want to get some one-on-one time with the business owners to address and proactive concerns they might have regarding people of interest that come into their businesses,” said Corp. Darryl Orr, adding it’s a two-way street because the officers are able to gather intelligence as well.

The informal visits have already taken place at more than 11 businesses, he said, adding this is the first time something like this has been done.

“We’re just trying to get our faces known downtown so that people feel comfortable about phoning in. Lots of times people will wait a week before or after something happens and say, ‘Hey we had a problem last week with this guy,’ or ‘This happened …’ and we find out later rather than finding out at the time,” he explained.

“If some guy is hanging around or causing problems we want to know before he does something, not after he breaks your window or steals from you.”

Orr said that the tips officers provide about crime prevention are tailored to each individual business, ranging from security improvements to simple things like leaving a light on.

“It’s all about being proactive,” he summed up.

If a business would like to set up a formal meeting, Orr said that could be done as well, by contacting him at either the Trail or Castlegar detachment.