No ‘Crime Train,’ but no time to rest

Editor:

Richmond First promised to prevent the Canada Line from becoming a “Crime Train”, we delivered – and we’re keeping up the pressure to make it even safer.

When the Canada Line was first being drawn up, it’s true that Richmond First Councillors, Derek Dang, myself, and later Ken Johnston, were trying to bring about key enhancements and supports to ensure the line remained safe.

We wrote to Translink constantly, receiving replies acknowledging our concerns and trying to work with us to address them.

In some cases we were successful in changing plans, like pressuring Translink for a dedicated set of transit police along the Canada Line, resulting in nearly 50 officers patrolling rapid transit lines to ensure criminal activity doesn’t creep into our neighbourhoods. Sometimes Translink only partially addressed our concerns, like our call for up & down escalators at all stations. But we stood up and were heard.

Locally, we supported two new Community Police Stations along the Canada Line at Bridgeport station and the terminus station at Vancouver International Airport, yielding strong results to date.

This week’s new report from the RCMP, while positive, did raise a red flag. While crime rates around Canada Line stations are steady, there has been a dramatic increase in violent crime and that’s more than concerning. That increase alone shows we’re doing the right thing by keeping up the pressure to ensure our rapid transit line receives adequate safety and security resources.

We’re continuing our fight by pressuring to make the Canada Line even safer. And just like we did from the start, we’re going to keep the public informed about our progress.

We’re calling for a crackdown on transit fare cheats, and working with the Richmond RCMP to support a dedicated full-time police staff presence at the Community Police Station at Bridgeport Station.

Together, we’ve made the Canada Line a welcome addition to our city, but we can’t rest on our laurels. The day we do, we’re welcoming a Crime Train into our city.

Bill McNulty
Richmond First Councillor

Read the published letter online in the Richmond Review at: http://www.bclocalnews.com/richmond_southdelta/richmondreview/opinion/letters/105067149.html

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