Black Press file

Black Press file

Letter: West Kelowna needs more police with crime rising

Letter writer not happy with the state of democracy in West Kelowna with regard to crime and police

To the editor:

The current West Kelowna Council was voted into power with only 6,706 citizens voting. Only 20.4 per cent of the population voted and this is what we get:

No more police to protect us in favour of eleven more city staff.

Related: West Kelowna wants province to pay for more RCMP

No more police to protect us in favour of spending $3.7 million (twice the original budget) plus the cost of land (already purchased by council prior to knowing the budget) on a special interest soccer dome. Spending money on this special interest will remove projects for the next 10 years and deplete our reserves.

No more police to protect us in favour of spending $4.2 million in miscellaneous park acquisition.

No more police to protect us in favour of spending an extra (over budget) $2.4 million on a total cost of $8.7 million for 1.3 kilometers of road.

No more police to protect us and our children from being harassed, threatened, and robbed by vagrants/homeless in favour of giving $20,000 to the homeless society which invites them into our community.

No more police to protect us in favour of giving agriculture approximately $3 million per year in free water (paid for by residents).

No more police to protect us in favour of spending one-quarter million on a consultant to enable them to spend $5 million on a works yard.

The citizens who have been assaulted, had their homes broken into, had items stolen, have been threatened with weapons and similar increased crimes know we need more police officers.

City council has known we are understaffed with police officers for years. Council was told of issues of abuse of City Staff having to clean up after vagrants using public facilities and clean up needles in parks and schools. The Council was also told by the RCMP in a September 15, 2016 Stats Canada Report that West Kelowna has the lowest ratio of Police Officers to Population.

West Kelowna, with a population of 32,699 had (26) police officers (one officer to 1,422 citizens) with an increase in violent crime. By comparison Penticton, with a population of 34,233 has 45 municipally funded police officers (one officer to 761 citizens).

It is time all West Kelowna Citizens stand up and get mad. Some of the current city council appear to not respect the wishes of the majority of citizens.

It’s time for change and I hope there are many more citizens that become involved with municipal issues and perhaps run for Mayor or council in the coming October election.

At the very least, we need to make sure we get many more citizens out to vote before more money is wasted, more reserves are spent, and before West Kelowna becomes the new crime capital.

R. McLeod, West Kelowna

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