Police, fire and rescue are what we think of when we discuss community security, but there’s so much more to it. Seismic preparation, education, and protecting the environment all fall under the category of safety.
By Andy Hobbs, Candidate for Richmond City Council
I spent over 35 years as an officer with the Vancouver Police Department, rising to positions of senior leadership and retiring as Superintendent. I know from a lifetime of public service about the importance of community safety and security.
Richmond is a safe place to live and raise a family. The policies of Richmond city council, led by my Richmond First colleagues, have made it even safer. We have more police than we did four years ago, more fire and rescue personnel, better fire halls, and amazing medical professionals in our ambulance service and hospital. This enhances our responses to critical incidents.
Although my career has been on the frontline of community safety, I take a broad view of the topic. Safety and security are not limited to catching “bad guys” and preventing crime. There is a lot more to it.
Safety is the cornerstone of any society’s success. You’re not going to have commerce or happy residents if you if you don’t have peace, security and stability. Policing is a big part of it – but it’s not the only part. The fire department, ambulances, courts and schools all tie into safety. Proactively encouraging safety means engaging stakeholders, neighbourhoods, volunteers and different community groups to work toward our shared goals. The rule of law and legitimacy are fundamental for our safety.
As a former school trustee, I know it is important to educate young people about protecting themselves, reporting suspicious activities to authority figures and avoiding situations that could endanger them.
I also know that safety and security means ensuring our schools and other public facilities, including our dyke systems, are prepared for seismic events.
As a longtime police officer, I support the installation of cameras at 176 intersections in the city. This will augment traffic enforcement conducted by police officers and will reduce serious collisions at intersections where 88% of collisions in Richmond occur. These cameras will, over time, increase police officers deployable time to address other important safety issues in our community including being “on the beat” and meeting residents in their neighbourhoods. These cameras will also alert emergency response vehicles to potential bottlenecks, allowing them to improve their already excellent response times. These cameras may also assist police in other investigations and help to successfully conclude serious investigations.
Safety and security include caring for our environment. If we do not confront climate change and its contributors, my granddaughter’s generation is going to face challenges that not only put at risk their individual security, but endanger Richmond’s physical existence. Security and safety, therefore, includes environmental issues such as plastics and recycling. Similarly, it also extends to food security. Richmond First has saved agricultural land from development, which enhances our community’s ability to feed itself.
The childcare spaces that my Richmond First colleagues have championed are an issue that I will be a strong voice for on council – helping to nurture confident kids who will grow into self-assured, educated and caring young people.
We have championed a new City Animal Shelter and Richmond’s reputation as one of this country’s most animal-friendly communities. Pet ownership has been correlated with improved personal health as well as security within the home and in the community.
Richmond residents have a choice to make on October 20. We have a legacy of community safety and security that Richmond First councillors have powerfully advanced. As someone with more than three decades of experience in policing, I will strengthen our city council’s ability to keep all our residents safe and secure. I want voters to know that I understand that these issues are about far more than responding to crime. To continue our success in creating and maintaining a safe city, we need to continue the holistic approaches to community policing that involve all residents in this crucial endeavour.
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Andy Hobbs: “As someone with over 35 years experience in policing, I want voters to know that these issues are about far more than responding to crime. We need to continue holistic approaches to community policing that involve all residents in advancing safety and security.”