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Community Programs

City Watch

City Watch is a CUPE BC program initiated by CUPE locals. Working with municipal councils and the police, they help stamp out crime in their communities. City Watch is designed to prevent and reduce crime by encouraging municipal workers to be alert to activities they might witness in the course of doing their jobs.

Workers throughout the city are in a unique position to provide an added, invaluable public service. This is particularly true during the day when many residents are away from home. By simply using their eyes and ears and adopting a sense of observation and concern, they can keep a watchful eye on the community while doing their work.

How The Program Works
Most city vehicles are equipped with a two-way radio system or cellular phone. If suspicious activities or accidents are observed, city workers call central dispatch. The dispatcher then immediately contacts the police or other emergency services, depending on the circumstances. In some communities, the workers make the emergency call directly. Incident reports are maintained and reviewed.

A City Watch binder in each vehicle provides handy instructions, reminders and report forms. If police are on the lookout for anyone in particular or stolen vehicles, that information can be included too.

Co-operation with and assistance from local police is crucial to the success of City Watch. Training can consist of short sessions or provision of written materials to teach workers effective observation and reporting of unusual or suspicious behaviour. This has proved invaluable to both the workers and to the police who receive accurate, timely information.

Workers have stopped small and large crimes, prevented accidents and in one community even helped break up a car theft ring!

Who Benefits?
The easy answer is everyone benefits. The police benefit by having trained watchful eyes and listening ears on the streets. CUPE members are proud to give something to the community where they live and work. The city benefits by having safer streets. Most importantly, when citizens see the City Watch Logo, they have one more reason to feel secure in their community.

City Watch now operates successfully in many municipalities and is expanding to others.