January 30, 2014 - 9:16 AM
VERNON - The community policing office is reporting a lower number of walk-in visitors since moving last summer from its former location on Main Street.
The new building is on 32 Avenue across from General Paint, and while drive-by visibility is good, there aren’t as many pedestrians in the area.
Coordinator Rachel Zubick says walk-in traffic is down 30 per cent compared to the same time last year. The big move was in July, and Zubick says it's taking time for the public to find them in their new location.
“We're off the beaten path. If you look at the statistics you’ll see that we’re not having the disenfranchised coming in, and the seniors are not coming in,” Zubick says. “We’re not getting those people who would be going into businesses around the old location (by Welk-Mart).”
Most visitors are coming in with a specific purpose, like getting a criminal record check, and fewer are stopping just for information—of which the office has a plethora.
Around the same time as the move, community policing got a new logo as part of the city’s rebranding initiative.
“When you switch up logos people don’t recognize you as easily,” Zubick says. “It takes time.... There are challenges to everything when you begin, hopefully we’ll be able to get over them all.”
She has confidence they will. With an amazing team of volunteers, Zubick isn’t sure what they couldn’t do.
“One gentleman was rushed to hospital, and he phoned in because he was guilty that he wasn’t going to make his shift. It hasn’t just happened once, it’s a happened several times. It’s unbelievable how dedicated our people are. And when I say dedicated, it’s just a drop in the bucket,” Zubick says.
While walk-in numbers may be straggling, the volunteer base is better than ever.
“It’s very much an anomaly in the volunteer world. We’re very lucky,” Zubick says.
Volunteers range from 19-years-old to over 80. Several volunteers have been there nearly 20 years. One longtime volunteer met her husband in the community policing building, back in the 1950s when it was owned by McDowell Motors.
It was these volunteers that helped move boxes upon boxes from the old home to the new one, making sure nothing was lost along the way.
“If you were to look at how many hours this community has put back into the community, I think people would be quite shocked,” Zubick says.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014