Sgt. James Anderson of the Tofino RCMP visited Tofino’s council chambers last week to bring council up to speed on the detachment’s policing priorities for 2014.
He said police will continue pushing for increased visibility this summer with downtown foot patrols, beach patrols, traffic safety checks, and community events.
The RCMP’s partnership with Tofino bylaw will continue and was upped this year as council increased its seasonal bylaw enforcement program budget from $20,000 to $28,000.
Police routinely patrol local beaches with Tofino’s seasonal bylaw officers and this year the tandem will focus on illegal parking at Tonquin Beach, beach fires, and liquor infractions.
“This year we’ll be concentrating more on issuing bylaw infraction tickets opposed to provincial tickets,” Anderson said adding this would bring more revenue to the district.
Coun. Dorothy Baert cautioned against issuing tickets to draw revenue at the expense of Tofino’s visitor experience.
“We are a community of visitors and such and so
the tone and all of that is meant to be informative and friendly,” she said. “I don’t believe the district is looking at bylaw enforcement as a source of revenue…I haven’t heard that we’re saying bylaw has to be self-supporting as a policy.” Anderson said the increased revenue would be a byproduct of the bylaw ticketing and not the focus of it.
Coun. Cathy Thicke spoke in support of the RCMP’s partnership with bylaw enforcement.
“It’s very comforting to me as a citizen but also as a councillor,” she said. “That relationship cannot be overemphasized it is so critical, I think, to our well being not only as a safe community but as a safe town to come and visit.”
Anderson said the RCMP is laying the groundwork for a Neighborhood Watch program in Tofino.
He said interest in such a program will be gauged over the summer with a potential launch in the fall.