Nelson Police Department Welcomes Inaugural Community Safety Officers, Enhancing Community Engagement and Safety
July 20, 2023
NELSON, BC– The Nelson Police Department is delighted to announce the appointment of the first two Community Safety Officers (CSOs), Jasmine Uppal and Heidi Quillan. In a ceremony held on July 17th, Uppal and Quillan were sworn-in as Special Municipal Constables, marking a significant milestone in the implementation of the much-anticipated CSO program, which has been in discussion since last fall.
Chief Donovan Fisher expressed his satisfaction at overcoming the unforeseen challenges faced during the program’s development, stating, “That makes it that much more satisfying to finally get to this point and actually be able to work with the two CSO officers that are very enthusiastic to get out and be engaged with the community.”
The primary focus of the CSOs is to serve as community liaisons and public engagement officers, emphasizing their role as the “eyes and ears of the department, but not the hands,” as highlighted by Chief Fisher. These officers will be actively present throughout the town, immersing themselves in the community to assess its pulse, identify trends, and address specific areas of concern. By doing so, the Nelson Police Department aims to provide a more targeted and effective service to residents, businesses, and tourists alike.
With their increased visibility and accessibility, the CSOs will act as a powerful deterrent against both person and property crimes within the area. To ensure comprehensive coverage, the department is collaborating closely with partner agencies to determine optimal locations for regular patrols and check-ups. Presently, the CSOs plan to be highly visible on Baker and Vernon Streets, while also conducting routine patrols through Lakeside Park, Cottonwood Falls, and the Izu-shi Friendship Society gardens. Furthermore, they will actively participate in community events and markets, fostering meaningful connections with the people they serve.
In addition to their community engagement responsibilities, the CSOs will provide essential support to police operations by handling follow-up tasks related to lower-level property crimes where no offender is present. These tasks will include documenting and photographing graffiti, collecting video surveillance from businesses, and retrieving found property. Chief Fisher emphasized, “The program is really just at its infancy so it is only limited by imagination at this point as to all the things that can be done and the benefits the community and the department will see.”
The Nelson Police Department is excited about the potential of the CSO program and its positive impact on community safety. By harnessing the dedication and enthusiasm of CSOs Uppal and Quillan, the department aims to enhance collaboration, trust, and proactive problem-solving between law enforcement and the community they serve.
Deputy Chief Constable Raj Saini – firstname.lastname@example.org