Kelowna's new top cop says policing the downtown core will be one of her priorities

Downtown focus for RCMP

Kelowna's new top cop didn't mince words - she will prioritize resources to ensure residents and tourists feel safe in the downtown core.

During her first presentation to city council Monday, Supt. Kara Triance indicated new resources that arrived last year were deployed downtown.

She told council 10 per cent of the city's calls for service in 2020 came from the downtown core.

"This number has not increased, but it is clear to me this is where we need to be putting a significant number of our uniform officers to respond to these calls," Triance told council.

"This is why we have put our six foot patrol and six bike unit members primarily focused downtown. We really need to build on our work with businesses and our community partners and our intelligence sharing with those who are the eyes and ears of the community to ensure we are responsive and attending to the matters of utmost important."

Triance says she wants to ensure the downtown core of the city has the resources it needs so people feel safe.

She says shifts have been adjusted so officers are in the area earlier in the mornings and later in the evenings.

"This is where you are going to continue to see me invest in public safety, including police visibility.

"What is really important with this is that we work in co-operation with our partners, making sure our policing is done with our partners in health as well as some of our downtown associations that have assisted us in a response that allows us to be the eyes and ears of our community, telling us where our officers need to turning their attention and focusing their energy and efforts."

Another area of focus over the next three years for Triance is priority response.

While she says the detachment will keep an eye on Priority 1 response times (under seven minutes), a keen focus will be on Priority 2 calls, which Triance says is a true indicator as to whether a community feels a sense of police responsiveness.

"If Priority 2 calls are not attended to on a timely manner, we tend to see a correlation between community satisfaction and whether residents are feeling like their calls to police are being heard and whether they will continue to report crime moving forward," said Triance.

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