Overall calls for service for Vernon bylaw officers was down 9.2 per cent in 2020 over 2019

Bylaw busy, but less so

Vernon bylaw officers were kept busy in 2020, but not as busy they were in 2019.

A report to city council states calls for service last year were down by 9.2 per cent, but dealing with the street-entrenched community continued to dominate the total number of calls.

Officers dealt with an additional 1,015 Street Entrenched Population Target Analysis (SEPTA) files through 2O2O outside of the seasonal enforcement operational period contributing to the year-end SEPTA total of 2,583, 42 per cent of the bylaw department's files.

But that down from 50.8 per cent in 2019.

“Increased temporary housing options and increased connections to social services may have contributed to the decrease in SEPTA calls for service,” the report stated.

Summer seasonal enforcement officers assisted with monitoring parks and public places, regulation of homeless temporary shelters, partnered with the RCMP for downtown patrols and also accompanied social agency outreach teams.

Seasonal staff worked from April 27 to Nov. 1 and investigated 1,568 files.

Contributing factors for the overall decrease in the number of complaints for 2020 includes a 21.3 per cent drop (3,050 to 2,400) in parks and public places complaints and a 25 per cent decrease (3,445 to 2,583) for complaints regarding SEPTA.

In addition to multiple inquires to clarify ongoing changes to Provincial Public Health Orders, dayshift officers investigated 152 COVID-19 calls for service.

These investigations related to potential violations of Provincial Health Orders and required officers to liaise with Interior Health, WorkSafe BC and RCMP where necessary.

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