In an effort to bring more eyes and ears into the job of keeping the community safe, the Abbotsford Police launched Operation Vigilance on Wednesday morning.
The APD has partnered with key businesses in the city to increase public safety by encouraging greater community involvement.
“Operation Vigilance enables employees of businesses that commonly work on the roads, homes, parks, and in the schools and neighbourhoods of Abbotsford to share information and to report observations to police. These observations may range from locating missing persons through to reporting criminal activity,” said an APD press release.
The APD hopes that through “alert watchfulness” and by paying “close attention” members of the community can contribute directly to the larger shared goal of a better and safer city.
“It’s like the largest scale Neighbourhood Watch that you can imagine,” explained APD spokesman Const. Ian MacDonald.
“You can’t underestimate the value of extra eyes and ears when you’re talking about a missing child or elderly person.”
He gathered with some of the business partners at the detachment on Wednesday to announce the new operation.
“We’re interested in being involved, and keeping an eye on the city…” said Liam Brennan of Jack’s Towing.
The company has 25 trucks on the road 24/7. Jack’s is the contractor that works with the APD for its towing requirements, and already they advise the police of suspicious circumstances.
“I’ve got a good crew of guys. If they see someone in distress, they want to help them,” he said.
Gerry Ennis of Re/Max was also there supporting Operation Vigilance.
“I see this as a great extension of Realty Watch,” he said.
Through that program, realtors have either directly spotted a missing person or provided police with information that results in a missing person being found on at least four occasions, said Ennis.
“I think Realty Watch is a great program.”