The City of Maple Ridge has launched its new Integrated Safety Ambassador Team, do to community patrols, business outreach, crime prevention work and more.
The project was approved by Maple Ridge city council in June, and will see community volunteers work with the Ridge Meadows RCMP, and its launch was announced on Wednesday.
In February, police launched Project C.O.R.E., a police intelligence led initiative with the goal of increasing connections with community partners and enhance safety in the downtown. Project C.O.R.E will continue, and an outcome of the project was the decision to deploy volunteers in new and innovative ways.
At the same time, the city started its Community Safety Social Initiative (CSSI), which includes the Community Safety Officer (CSO) program, which also focuses on the downtown core and commercial district. The idea for an Integrated Safety Ambassador program was born out of these initiatives.
Using existing RCMP volunteers, city hall says the new team is a unique integrated initiative in that it expands the crime prevention role to be inclusive of both policing and city safety initiatives. The team will be interactive with the public and local businesses, provide education and assistance to the public, as well as assist with guiding citizen concerns to appropriate community resources.
ISAT volunteers will be paired with bylaws officers, CSOs as the RCMP. Volunteers will be equipped with iPad’s and, utilizing a proprietary software program, can assist citizens in directly reporting a community concern to the appropriate city department, a community resource or the police.
“The ISAT program, developed under Council’s CSSI, is the first of its kind in Canada,” said Mayor Mike Morden. “Trained community volunteers, along with a host of frontline resources contribute as part of a larger team dedicated to making our community a safer place for all citizens and businesses. ISAT delivers yet another piece towards the build of what is a complex mosaic that further adds to the development of our social safety net, playing its part to connect people with the services needed to live better lives.
“Council sincerely thanks all those volunteers for stepping up to serve our community, it is this kind of innovation that goes toward making Maple Ridge the best little city in BC.”
RCMP Superintendent Wendy Mehat public safety is a core strategic priority nationally and locally for the RCMP.
“To strategically utilize our RCMP volunteers in this specific and innovative way, in collaboration with the city, has not been done before,” she said. “The citizens of our communities value public safety and if anyone would like to become part of this innovative program we would love to welcome you.”
To apply to become a volunteer with the RCMP go to www.mapleridge.ca/1554/volunteer.
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