The volunteers and staff at the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre were just building momentum for the year when the pandemic arrived. Before we knew it we had suspended all of our volunteer programs and closed our door to the public.
The staff continued to work behind the scenes, while figuring out how to move our organization forward under new conditions.
Community members continued to call and email, and we advised them on their safety and quality of life concerns. We found ways to reach out to our volunteers, using unfamiliar technology. Additionally, we focused on organizational planning and administrative projects that we just hadn’t had time for in the hustle and bustle of normal operations.
Our Sunrise Safety Team stayed active through the shutdown. They undertook a thorough program review and a training upgrade. Then, they returned to the streets for litter and graffiti clean-up initiatives. As pandemic recovery progressed, they assisted local businesses by delivering COVID-safety reopening packages and resumed visits to businesses to address safety and crime concerns.
In June we started the process of carefully relaunching our volunteer programs and re-opening our door after weeks of planning safe ways to do so.
Our Information and Community Assistance volunteers began coming back in May to respond to community inquiries and concerns. At first they did this behind closed doors and now the office has reopened to the public.
Though our community events are canceled, our Outreach team has begun to organize and participate in online initiatives.
In June our Citizens Patrol program started its return to the community. We continue to increase the frequency of patrols.
Our Road Safety program resumed with an ICBC/VPD Traffic Unit event and we have begun our own regular deployments in the neighbourhood.
In June we also relaunched our Community Clean Up program. On their first day our volunteers covered a 56-block area where they picked up 15 bags of litter.
The last several months have been largely focused on responding to the COVID pandemic and now we are reconnecting with our volunteers and our community partners. We are focused on getting our volunteers out into the community again and assisting those who connect with us through visits, calls, emails and events so that we can continue to work together for a safe Hastings Sunrise!