Community Safety Office

The Vernon Community Safety Office (CSO) is the flagship operation of the Protective Services – Community Safety Unit.  Opening its doors in November 1999 as the Community Policing Office, the volunteer staffed storefront has expanded beyond traditional Community Policing functions, to providing overall Community Safety initiatives. The CSO houses information on over 50 crime reduction/prevention programs and initiatives and also offers a broad spectrum of information around community based programs, projects and initiatives. The Community Safety Office further houses the Restorative Justice Society - North Okanagan.

Rachael Zubick, Community Safety Coordinator – Public Programs
Margaret Clark, Executive Director Restorative Justice Society – North Okanagan

Staffed by RCMP volunteers, under the direction of the Community Safety Coordinator – Public Programs, the Community Safety Office allows for community members to initiate non or low priority reports to the RCMP, refers clients to available resources, services and programs within the community, provides information regarding current crime reduction/prevention programs and initiatives which empower individuals and neighbourhoods to feel and be safe. 

Through the Community Safety Office, community members are able to access core Community Safety programs/information such as:

  • Drug House Awareness & Reporting
  • Drug Awareness
  • Frauds Cons & Scams Information
  • The Vernon Safety Ambassadors Program
  • Operation Cat’s Paw
  • The Restorative Justice
  • CrimeStoppers
  • W.I.T.S
  • Personal and Cyber Safety
  • Unwanted Graffiti Reporting
  • Operation Identification
  • Business Property Reference

RCMP Volunteers also participate in community/school-based bike rodeos, workshops and a wide variety of Community events such as:

  • Scooter Safety Workshop
  • Operation ID                                              
  • Sunshine Festival  
  • Frauds Cons & Scams workshops             
  • Halloween at the Village Green            
  • Winter Carnival Parade
  • Wings & Wheels                                        
  • YAA Fest                                                         
  • Pedestrian Safety                                 
  • International Car Free Day
  • FASD Day                                                              
  • Bike To Work Week

Arrangements for residential or business security audits using the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), workshops on personal, home, vehicle and community safety, internet safety, crystal meth awareness and a broad range of age and developmentally appropriate workshops can be made through the Community Safety Office. Information on bullying, drug awareness, cyber bullying, bike safety and much more is also available.

The Community Safety Coordinator – Public Programs is responsible for the day to day operations and staffing of the CSO as well as program development and implementation to address current crime trends and community needs. The Coordinator provides community outreach in the form of a wide variety of community relevant workshops centered on providing the tools to feel and be safe.  Such workshops include (but are not limited to): 

  • Dealing with Hostile Clients/Persons
  • Workplace Safety
  • Personal Safety (all ages)
  • Keeping our Children Safe  - Toddler Safety
  • Safe Disposal of Needles
  • Adult / Youth Internet Safety
  • Tagging & Unwanted Graffiti 
  • Hug a Tree and Survive
  • Stay Alert Stay Safe - Child Safety
  • Residential/Business Security Audits
  • Crystal Meth Awareness
  • Bullying
  • Home/Office Security
  • Bike Safety

All workshops are designed to address the unique needs, development and age of the audience.

During the summer, the Coordinator is responsible for hiring, training and supervision of the Vernon Safety Ambassadors. The Safety Ambassadors are actively engaged as eyes and ears for the RCMP, ambassadors for the City of Vernon, provide community outreach programs, liaise with the disenfranchised of the community as well as provide a uniformed presence in Vernon at a time when the population and tourism increases significantly.

The Coordinator is actively involved in a variety of community initiatives most aimed at manageable solutions to the root causes of crime under the umbrella of Crime Prevention Through Social Development, such as:

  • Partners in Action.
  • The  Centreville Neighbourhood Council
  • Harm Reduction Strategy Evaluation Team
  • Homelessness Strategy Evaluation Team
  • Camp Okanagan Outreach Liaison Team (COOL Team)
  • Restorative Justice Advisory Council
  • North Okanagan Poverty Outreach Team (NOPOT)
  • Supporting Sex Workers Action Team
  • Children in Care Committee
  • Community Volunteer Coordinators Network
  • Vernon Emergency Operation Centre
  • The Municipal School Transportation Plan (MSTP)