COLUMN: Community has an important role to play in helping police

Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord tells how the community and police worked together to catch a thief and preserve a uniquely Delta business.

Delta Police Chief Constable Neil Dubord.

The Delta Police Department is proud of two things: our “no call to small” philosophy and our vision of a safer and better community through excellence in policing. What makes these principles extra special is when our community responds to issues in the same way.

Recently, we had a file that was out of the ordinary; but again this is an out-of-the-ordinary community. The file was summarized in a report by the on-duty sergeant:

“The victim is a local Ladner farmer who operates a small local market on River Road West.  What is unique about this market is not the fact that it sells local homegrown produce, fruit preserves, chili sauces etc. The unique part is that this market operates completely on an honour system. You take what you need and leave the money in a cash box.

“On Sept. 7, cash and several food items were stolen to the tune of $320. Luckily, it was caught on video surveillance.  What is very cool, is that the video was fanned out via social media to another local Facebook group. It has about 2000 Delta residents. Voilà, Delta residents band together and identify the suspect. The DPD constable did his part, located and arrested the individual. He had [his] first court appearance [on] Nov. 25.

“In conclusion, as a Delta citizen myself, I’m proud of our department for this file and the type of work we do on a daily basis. As the constable’s friend, co-worker and occasional supervisor, I’m proud of the work he did on this file.”

We often talk about the role of the community in public safety and that the police cannot do their jobs without public support. This file is a classic example of the power of the community in keeping our neighbourhoods safe and holding offenders accountable to their actions.

The fact that a farmer can still sell products on an honour system in this day and age is, simply put, awesome. But on top of that, a community rallying together to ensure that this way of life is protected is beyond words.

I am also proud of the work of our constable, who recognized that this theft was more than the face value of the cash and products stolen; that following through and arresting the thief sends a message to anyone who lives, works or visits Delta – the little things matter.

The relationship and trust we have with the community coupled with the great work of our officers makes solving files like this possible. Together, we are #DPDSTRONG.

Neil Dubord is the Delta Police Department’s chief constable. He joined the DPD on June 29, 2015 after three years as chief of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police and 25 years with the Edmonton Police Service where he was the Deputy Chief in charge of Community Policing Bureau.