“What do you do if a naked person walks into the office?”
That’s what a new volunteer asked during one of the first orientation sessions held by Clair MacGougan, executive director of the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre, in the early 2000s.
Clair still remembers the conversation clearly because the very next day a naked man did show up at the HSCPC office!
“He didn’t have on a single item of clothing, but he didn’t seem to mind it,” says Clair. “The only thing he was curious about was the Festival of Lights — it was summer time and the man really wanted to see Vancouver fireworks.”
Nearly 20 years passed since then and the community policing centre has seen all types of visitors: older ladies from the neighbourhood complaining about suspicious persons near their homes, young men who had their cars broken into, kids whose bikes were stolen, passersby who found someone’s wallet or purse. So far, however, no more naked people.
“Community members come to the HSCPC every day,” notes Nina Kreis, the volunteer and office coordinator. They are greeted by volunteers taking part in the Information and Community Assistance program, or ICA. “Local residents often come with their problems or concerns. Last year, for example we received 760 complaints; all of them got registered in our complaint log and passed on to the neighbourhood police officer.”
This is a shortened version of an article that appears in our Summer bulletin. Read the full version here: