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Out On Patrol police group backs rainbow crosswalk in Langley

Urges supporters to donate to cover cost of $12,000 crossing near main RCMP detachment
On Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, the Township approved a rainbow crosswalk between the school district and RCMP buildings in Murrayville, but did not earmark funds for the project. (Langley Advance Times file)

Out On Patrol, a B.C.-based support organization for LGBTQ2S+ officers, is urging people to contribute to the cost of a rainbow crosswalk near the main Langley RCMP detachment.

An online message estimates the cost at $12,000 and directs viewers to an online donation link T the Langley School District Foundation website.

Out On Patrol, founded in 2019, describes itself online as “an incorporated non-profit peer support organization for LGBTQ2S+ members of law enforcement” focused on community engagement, charitable work, and education.

Members do not have to be LGBTQ2S+ but can join as “allies,” the Out On Patrol website explains.

Surrey RCMP Const. Brittany Eaton, an Out On Patrol member who said she identifies as LGBTQ2S+, described the crosswalk as a “great community project.”

“For me, it signifies inclusiveness in the community,” Eaton told the Langley Advance Times.

“It would be good for the youth,” Eaton added, “for the kids to see that we do have a safe community.”

The donor link says the school district foundation is “proud to support the design and implementation of a rainbow crosswalk” connecting the school board office building with the Langley RCMP main detachment at 4875 222nd Street.

So far, the foundation reported Saturday, Jan 23, it has raised about $4,000.

READ MORE: Rainbow crosswalk between RCMP and school district office approved by Township council

In September, Langley Township council approved the crosswalk, with the understanding that it won’t cost the municipality any money.

It would be the second rainbow crosswalk in the Township, after one was installed in Fort Langley in 2017.

It quickly became a provincial election issue, with Coun. Margaret Kunst, who was running for the Liberals in Langley East, taking flak for voting against the idea during the debate on Monday, Sept. 21.

READ ALSO: Langley’s rainbow crosswalk causes a storm

One of three councillors to vote against the crosswalk endorsement, Kunst said she agreed with a fellow councillor that a framework needed to be in place before voting on such projects.

A Vancouver television station reported that, while running for council in 2018, Kunst had responded to a questionnaire from the Langley chapter of the conservative group Association of Reformed Political Action (ARPA) about whether she would support new rainbow crosswalks. She said she would vote against them.

Kunst told the Langley Advance Times she’s worked with LGBTQ youths in her charity work for years.

“My record in the community will show that I’ve worked with all groups,” she said.

READ MORE: Langley East Liberal candidate denies NDP accusation of homophobia over crosswalk vote

Kunst lost to her NDP opponent in the Langley East riding, Megan Dykeman, the then-chair of the school board.

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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