KAMLOOPS — Where do the candidates for mayor of Kamloops stand on the biggest issues facing our city?
CFJC Today asked the six candidates about five different issues, and will give you their answers this week. (Todd McLeod failed to respond by deadline.)
Here's the second question we posed:
Is there a crime problem in Kamloops? If yes, how do you propose to deal with it?
Ken Christian: Crime in Kamloops is an issue. I supported the additional ten officers we now have in our budget. I also supported a second Car 40 for the city. Criminal intelligence is the newest and most effective way to police in today's society and I have supported every request at the Police Commission and through the Coordinated Law Enforcement Task Force to enhance our intelligence efforts. I have also supported additional street presence for our city and better coordination between police fire and bylaw services. Still crime is an issue. As citizens we have a part to play, we need to teach our children to be street wise and we need to lock and hide valuables at all times and not become victims of opportunity. Safer streets mean residents can remain more connected and more active.
Stu Holland: Is there a crime problem? Let me see. After the media forum my truck was robbed of a nice suede jacket and of my $300 gold Oakley sunglasses. So yes, petty crime is everywhere and when the social economics take an upturn and put more people back to work petty crime will slow down. Heck, if a dollar is attached even rich people steal from others, but that usually involves more than just a jacket and glasses. People just need to be more aware in their neighbourhoods. Police are doing the best they can but we need to be aware, 'oh geez, you have no money but how did you buy expensive sunglasses and a new jacket?'
Bill McQuarrie: With the exception of petty crime, the overall crime figures in Kamloops are showing a decline. However, petty crime is only petty until it happens to you. When you find your car broken into or your bike missing, crime becomes personal, serious and needs to be stopped. Most experts in the field suggest that almost all of these crimes can be traced back to drugs and drug addictions. They are crimes of opportunity, so more police may not be the answer. As Mayor, my approach to reducing these crimes of opportunity would be an integrated approach of: Policing, intervention, a Housing First approach that combines housing, healthcare and help with addictions and a program to show how you can reduce those 'opportunities' of being victimized.
Micheal McKenzie: There is a quality of life problem. Deal with the people on the ground. Unify the policy makers and decision makers. It is time to raise the quality of life. The RCMP are currently doing their best. Only we can change us. This change starts with compassion. I can lead this change with quality leadership and facilitation. The people have to want it.
Glenn Hilke: There is and always will be crime in the community. Some crimes are more serious than others and require stronger and decisive action to be taken by the RCMP. Given that we do not have our own police force, our RCMP is stretched to the maximum dealing with antiquated drug laws and other minor misdemeanors and that could be solved and diminished through by law and volunteer community and neighbourhood watch initiatives. Issues like loitering, graffiti, vandalism, shopping cart use by the homeless and personal marijuana consumption and possession need to be addressed in new ways so that RCMP can concentrate on major crimes of drug dealing, gang violence, theft networks and domestic violence and sexual assaults etc…
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