New Westminster Police Department reveals new strategy
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
The New Westminster Police Department (NWPD) released a new plan on January 8 that aims to improve public safety over the next four years.
This plan builds upon a similar plan that was implemented in 2012, which resulted in the hiring of 23 new officers for the NWPD.
“This strategic plan represents a promise to the community of New Westminster as we continue to do everything that is possible to keep everyone safe and secure,” said Dave Jones, NWPD Chief Constable, in a press release.
There have been several reasons to implement a new plan, including the increasing population within the city, a greater number of offices being built or rented, and a rising number of business licences being issued. The NWPD has also been placed under some scrutiny for their spending, with residents questioning how much benefit the NWPD is providing the community for what they cost.
“This planning process took into account the key trends shaping the future of our community. Traffic and property crime, issues related to mental health and addictions, and preventing criminal activity, all remain top of mind for New Westminster citizens,” wrote Jones in the introduction of the plan.
The plan includes three overarching objectives, with two or three sub-goals within each.
The first of these objectives is to reduce crime and to improve public safety. The NWPD hopes to accomplish this goal through the means of improving safety for drivers, raising police presence in public, and increasing focus on serious crime and repeat offenders, rather than minor and petty crime.
The second of these objectives builds on the increased presence in the community, as well as improved communications with major forces in the city. This will be accomplished through increasing communications—both internally and externally—building lasting relationships in the community, and working closely with other nearby police jurisdictions.
The third of these objectives involve more effectively utilizing available resources. This will be done through better training involving technology and interpersonal communications.
As an aside within the plan, New Westminster mayor Jonathan Cote wrote: “…We are all very proud of the past and current successes of the NWPD, and we’re grateful for the exemplary service they provide to New Westminster’s citizens around the clock. Their commitment to public safety is a key factor in making our city a great community now, and we’re confident in their pledge of service going forward.”