Kamloops BC – The City of Kamloops is excited to introduce the new Community Services Division, formerly known as the Bylaw Services Division. In an effort to better meet the needs of a changing community landscape, the City evaluated the role of Bylaw Services in the community and identified an opportunity to make a bigger impact.
Bylaw Services has traditionally been viewed as an enforcement arm for parking and animal control in addition to responding to complaints about other bylaw infractions, such as nuisance behaviour or unsightly properties. The restructure looked at what was missing in the community and what was needed to fill the gaps in terms of social needs, education, and authority when responding to a call for service.
The new Community Services Officers (CSOs) will undergo enhanced training and will endeavour to strengthen relationships with local businesses, social agencies, and other partners in an effort to maximize community resources. While the CSOs still have the authority to enforce bylaws through ticketing and other measures, there is an increased focus on developing relationships, resolving conflict, and working together as a community.
“The community has spoken, and we’ve listened. We are working towards an education-first approach to difficult situations, whether they are nuisance properties, social issues, or animal control issues. We will do our best to come to solutions and understandings and not rely solely on enforcement,” said Byron McCorkell, the City’s Community and Protect Services Director. “This doesn’t mean that tickets will no longer handed out for parking or other bylaw infractions—our officers will still distribute tickets when required.”
“It’s a shift in how we interact with our residents. If we get a call about an unsightly camp, for example, it’s not good enough to just move someone along or write a ticket. It’s about finding a solution and connecting that person with resources that can help them,” said Tammy Blundell, the City’s Community Services Manager. “We’re not just about parking tickets and barking dogs anymore. We’re about helping the community deal with the impacts of some of the social issues we’re facing.”
As part of the restructure, the Community Services Division is implementing new uniforms and vehicle decals to help reinforce the change. CSOs are equipped to handle a variety of calls, from social issues to nuisance properties, to pest education, to tree bylaw education.
Photo courtesy of City of Kamloops
“We’re here to help,” said Blundell. “If you have a question or a concern, we want to hear from you.”
The Community Services Division is located at 1303 Mission Flats Road and can be reached by phone at 250-828-3409. To learn more, visit Kamloops.ca/CommunityServices.