Downtown Kelowna Association pays tribute to long-time On Street Services manager

15 years on call

Cindy White

The man who has managed the Downtown On Call and Clean teams since their inception in Kelowna is about to retire.

Ron Beahun was honoured at the final 'Downtown After 5' of the year on Wednesday night at the Laurel Packinghouse.

“We’re celebrating Ron’s over 15 years with the Downtown Kelowna Association as our On Street Services manager. He has been running what’s more commonly known as the red shirts and blue shirts since its inception in 2008,” announced Downtown Kelowna Association executive director Mark Burley.

Beahun says it all started nearly 18 years ago when he took a security guard training course and volunteered at the Memorial Cup in 2004.

“While I was there I was offered a job with the security company that was doing the Memorial Cup and they were doing the downtown patrols,” he explains. “So, it just kind of all fell in place for me and I ended up getting a job out of volunteering and the rest is history.”

Just over three years later the Downtown On Call and Clean teams were formed, taking a unique approach to patrolling the streets.

“Number one, we’re a constant presence downtown. We’re out seven days a week, 14 hours a day. We communicate with everyone, be it a member of the downtown street-entrenched, businesses, we are out there. We are essentially ambassadors,” said Beahun.

As he prepares to pass the torch to someone else, what’s his advice?

“Ask for advice when you don’t know the answer and always treat everybody equally.”

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