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WHAT’S UP DOWNTOWN – Dealing with street issues

(City of Kamloops)

IN THE LAST couple of weeks, you may have seen us walking around, handing out information regarding community safety.

Within these deliveries is a list of numbers that you can call for certain organizations. This includes non-emergency, bylaw general, ASK Wellness and our CAP Team. Also included is a new information sheet containing tips on dealing with street issues.” (See our website for more info).

The CAP Team is dedicated to maintaining a safe, vibrant and walkable Downtown core. Recently, the preception of safety Downtown has been negatively impacted for a few reasons.

It’s important to remember that everyone has a story. As a young woman, I should fit into the stereotypical generalization that I have heard many times: “Downtown Kamloops is not safe.”

However, when I walk around downtown, out of uniform, I do not feel vulnerable. Maybe it has something to do with being 6 feet tall, or maybe it has something to do with wearing a uniform when I’m working.

I personally don’t think it’s either though. I think I feel this way because of the way that I was brought up (thanks Mom and Dad).

With my job, I have learned to build rapport with individuals who look a little rough around the edges. I have taken the time to learn the stories of these same individuals, and treat them with respect.

A perfect example: When approached by a panhandler I have seen that if you bow your head and walk quickly by, and disregard the fact that they even spoke to you, it sometimes doesn’t end well.

Why should it? That isn’t what my parents taught me to do when someone speaks to me. However, if you look the person in the eye, treat them as a human being, and respond respectfully, that person will usually accept that you don’t wish to give anything.

In today’s society, it is so easy to focus on the negative. One bad thing hits the news hard, and the 25 good things that happened before that all go unnoticed. Yes, you should stay alert when confronting strangers, there is always the chance for a bad egg. Treating people with respect is something that we should all be practicing.

I am happy and proud to have learned the importance of treating people with respect; it’s a two-way street, and also not to judge a book by its cover, you never know what someone has been through.

Written by Alexis Proulx, Customer Care and Patrol (CAP) Team Supervisor. Reach the Cappies at 250-572-3008/3009 or the Customer Care & Info Centre at 250-572-3017. Email capteam@downtownkamloops.com. Follow on Facebook, Instagram (Downtownkamloops) and Twitter (@downtownkamloops).

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About Mel Rothenburger (5078 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on WHAT’S UP DOWNTOWN – Dealing with street issues

  1. Edyn Rothenburger // September 19, 2017 at 12:32 PM // Reply

    Beautifully said Alexis, I couldn’t have said it better myself! Thank you for speaking elequently on this important issue.

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