Editorial — Concerns about public safety in Langley City have been heard

Several initiatives underway will make the streets safer in Langley City, and more action is planned.

For several years, and particularly in the run-up to the municipal election in November, Langley City residents have been expressing concerns about public safety.

There was a widespread feeling that people were not safe on the streets, particularly after dark, due to criminal activity. Added to this was the concern about an increasing number of people who are homeless, or suffering from mental illness, on the streets.

The issue was likely the most important one for many of those who voted on Nov. 15, and elected Ted Schaffer as mayor in his own right. He had been acting mayor for almost 18 months after Peter Fassbender won election to the B.C. legislature in May, 2013.

Schaffer was listening. He is finalizing recommendations for the make-up of two task forces, one on community crime prevention, and the other on homelessness. These recommendations will go to Langley City council on Monday.

He also convened a meeting in December with TransLink Police and Langley RCMP, and invited local media to attend and get answers about crime in the City in general, and in particular get to the bottom of issues involving the Langley City bus exchange.

Several initiatives were outlined, and a follow-up meeting on Tuesday heard that a pilot project involving foot patrols and other visibility measures, involving both the RCMP and TransLink Police, will begin next week.

TransLink Police now has issues in Langley, both at the City bus loop and at Carvolth exchange, higher on its radar screen. TransLink is also contributing money for better lighting at the City bus exchange, and adjacent property owners have also increased their lighting.

The mayor deserves credit for not letting these issues fester, or adopting a “business as usual” approach. Proactive actions should help make the City safer.