Reaching out in person, Langley City officials visit downtown businesses

The mayor, RCMP superintendent, and fire chief all took part in the outreach

Langley City’s mayor, fire chief, and the community’s top cop took to the streets on Tuesday to talk directly to local workers and business owners about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Val van den Broek organized the walk, along with Supt. Murray Power of the Langley RCMP and City fire chief Rory Thompson.

The trio stopped into businesses around the downtown core.

“We’re just going to go around and talk to the businesses in the community, and see how everybody’s faring with COVID,” said van den Broek.

The City wants to let local businesses know about the City’s economic restart plan, and also about the online reporting tool recently instituted by the RCMP.

“It’s a great chance to get out and touch base with the community,” said Power.

“It gives us a chance to promote our Langley RCMP online reporting, which is a fairly new initiative in the detachment,” Power said.

It is also a chance for him to get some first-hand feedback from business owners.

The group stopped by businesses including a pharmacy, a hardware store, cafes, and hair salons as they looped down Douglas Crescent and up the Fraser Highway one-way section between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

“We’ve been very, very lucky, but a lot of businesses haven’t been as lucky as us,” said Shaqeel Virani, assistant manager at the Home Hardware on Douglas Crescent, owned by his father.

They’ve been trying to help out other businesses when they can, Virani said.

At the Red Velvet Café, van den Broek mentioned information on patio regulations is available, while at the Evergreen Pharmacy, they discussed masking and physical distancing.

“It’s comforting to know that they’re aware of what’s going on,” said Evergreen staffer Sandy Stephenson.

Langley City has links on its website to everything from local outdoor dining policies to provincial and federal resources for business, to information from the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.

The RCMP’s new local online crime reporting tool is for non-emergency complaints, about thefts, vandalism, or lost items worth less than $5,000. People can also report driving complaints that are not currently happening.

Emergencies should still be directed to 911, said Power.

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