The Nelson Police department has sworn in Jasmine Uppal and Heidi Quillan to serve as community safety officers and help tackle growing public safety concerns.
In a media release, the department stated the two officers will act as the “eyes and ears … but not the hands” and serve as community liaison and public engagement officers.
The program has been in the works since last fall. The department hopes the officers can act as a deterrent against person and property crimes.
The officers will work all throughout the city, with a heavy presence on Baker and Vernon streets to address specific areas of concern and help identify trends. They will also conduct routine patrols through local parks and participate in community events and markets with the hope of fostering meaningful connections with the people they serve.
The media release stated the program will help the police provide a more targeted and effective service to residents, businesses and tourists.
In addition to their community engagement responsibilities, the officers will also handle follow-up tasks related to lower-level property crimes. They will be responsible for documenting and photographing graffiti, collecting video surveillance from businesses, and retrieving found property.
Although the program is new, the Nelson Police Department stated in the release that they are excited about its potential and to see the impact it will have on community safety.