As the first meeting of the newly formed Community Safety Task Force nears, the names of board appointees were revealed in Trail council this week.
“We tried to accomplish a good representation throughout the entire community,” explained Coun. Sandy Santori. “Many are involved, in some regard, with respect to crime, mental illness and addiction services as well as members of the community-at large.”
Terry Martin, former fire chief for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, is one of three community members chosen to sit on the 13-member board.
“Just because you retire, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to help out in anyway you can, ” he shared with the Trail Times. “We all want to do everything we can to make Trail the best place we know it can be.”
It’s early in the game, the first meeting is not until April 11 at Trail City Hall. So for now, Martin is brushing up on the group’s mandate and reading up on reference materials.
Along with Martin as community-at-large members, are former RCMP officer Tom McNulty and William Trowell from Selkirk Security.
Other appointees include: Sharon Kucher from Citizens on Patrol; Sgt. Mike Wicentowich from the Greater Trail RCMP; Janet MacNeil, executive director for Trail FAIR Society; Lynn Miller, Interior Health, Mental Health and Substance Use; Sheila Adcock, Trail Association for Community Living; and Ed Attridge from the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce.
From the city are Coun. Sandy Santori as chair, Coun. Paul Butler, alternate chair, and Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff.
Coun. Santori stressed that having a senior’s voice on the panel was vital, and he confirmed the role will be filled by Darlene McIsaac from the Senior Citizens Association of BC, Branch 47, Trail.
Of note, is that the task force meetings will not be open to the public. The closed forum is to allow for open and frank discussions of crime-related information and data that might not be available for public consumption.
However, Coun. Santori will report on the group’s activities as part of his general reporting at regular council meetings. Further, any recommendations coming out of the task force will be made public.
The Community Safety Task Force was one of the first orders of business Mayor Lisa Pasin announced after she was elected into the lead role last fall.
Municipal staff formally introduced the group’s mandate and terms of reference in early January, which council subsequently endorsed before putting out a call for volunteer board members.
The group’s purpose is to serve council, in an advisory capacity, on matters impacting public safety and to advise on crime prevention strategies that may enhance public safety.
Within their mandate, the committee is to:
• Provide advice and recommendations to Council on strategies to enhance public safety and to prevent and reduce crime in the community.
• Identify and examine issues impacting community safety, including homelessness, vagrancy, theft, vandalism, mental health and drug‐related activities.
• Identify root causes and contributing factors to identified social issues and determine, where practical, the measurable impacts of said social issues on the community.
• Provide a conduit for citizens to raise issues and concerns regarding community safety.
• Encourage the development and delivery of education programs to raise awareness of community safety issues and the availability of resources.
• Advise on strategies to address the negative impacts of real and perceived social issues locally.
• Identify resources available and supports necessary to assist those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and other vulnerable populations with securing suitable housing.
• Identify opportunities to implement crime prevention techniques in high‐risk areas.