Police eye changes to Oak Bay Village post

The Oak Bay Police Department is looking at a few possible tweaks to its police post program.

The post – a designated parking spot in front of the municipal hall on Oak Bay Avenue – was created last summer as part of the department’s ongoing effort to increase its public visibility.

Officers park there on Saturday afternoons and during special events such as the Oak Bay night markets or Christmas Light-Up. They’ve been instructed to interact with the public and answer any questions they may have. The community outreach initiative is separate from existing foot patrols, and for that reason officers stay close to the vehicle, making them easy to find.

The feedback has so far been mostly positive, said Deputy Chief Kent Thom, but he added there’s always room for improvement.

Among ideas being considered are the creation of a sandwich board or brochures explaining that officers are there to be approached.

As well, Thom said, a “roving” post could set up at various places throughout the municipality, such as Windsor Park, Willows Beach and Estevan Village, depending on when different events are happening.

“We’ll discuss them a little bit further as time goes on, and likely be altering what we have done in the past just to make our members more accessible to the public.”

Concern has been raised over the Village post’s proximity to a marked crosswalk – some have said it could block eastbound motorists’ view of pedestrians. After inspecting the situation, municipal engineering staff confirmed there is a safe amount of space between the crosswalk and the post when a vehicle is parked there.

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