With summer here and school out, Kelowna RCMP are ramping up their efforts to stop youth from committing crimes.
A Youth Officer Program is being implemented, after police said that there is a “sense from the community” that more minors have been involved in crimes over the last several weeks, mostly in the downtown and in Rutland.
A release from the RCMP reads that the main goal of the program will be to “decrease the risk of property crime and increase the sense of safety in public spaces.”
“We have heard from the community that there are concerns surrounding issues of youth violence, crime, and social disorder,” said Sgt. Andrew Hunter.” We take those concerns seriously, and are implementing steps to address these issues.”
The officers will proactively engage with youth in high traffic areas around town, primarily parks and beaches.
Some might recognize the familiar faces of the officers involved, as they will be the same Community Youth Safety Officers that work with students during the school year.
It is expected that this program will alleviate the pressure on general duty officers, allowing them to answer the many calls that come in throughout the day.
The youth officers will be working with programs like Youth Probation, Youth Crown, Boys and Girls Club and Foundry to give youth the resources they need.