South Vancouver community policing centres support neighbourhoods impacted by the pandemic
Police collaborate with local organizations to ensure food security and community cleanliness
Reported by Catherine Mwitta
Kerrisdale Oakridge Marpole community policing centre (KOMCPC) and South Vancouver community policing centre (SVCPC) provided support to South Vancouver communities amidst the pandemic, due to Vancouver organizations scaling back outreach operations because of the array of safety issues COVID-19 presents to workers and South Vancouver residents.
Many South Vancouver residents could no longer access food banks because locations were allowed to only let a limited number of people inside their pantries. Marpole Neighbourhood House recognized this issue and decided to launch an emergency food drive program to help members of the community who lacked food security. Senior Director at Marpole Neighbourhood House Javier Ojer said that KOMCPC helped with setting up “long tables,” enforcing “two metre” social distancing measures and providing “masks” and “hand sanitizers” to those visiting food distributions centres at St. Augustine Church and Marpole Neighbourhood House.
Over on Victoria Drive, the Victoria Drive Business Improvement Association (VDBIA) had difficulty combating graffiti on commercial buildings when the pandemic hit. According to Monique Koningstein, coordinator of events at VDBIA, The city of Vancouver had abruptly stopped assigning anti-graffiti contractors to the street due to “safety concerns” for their workers and coincidentally amidst the pandemic, she said the graffiti in the area had likewise “increased.” The VDBIA collaborated with SVCPC and its volunteers to remove graffiti in the area. Executive Director Beata Fischer commented about organizing graffiti clean ups and patrolling in Victoria Drive during the pandemic.