ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) – There may be a silver lining to the high home prices across the Lower Mainland. It seems as though the increased cost of real estate in Vancouver is attracting police officers to the Fraser Valley and one particular police department is benefiting.
In Abbotsford, about half of the police officers working in the city also live in the city.
Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich says it’s a different story in other communities. “In Vancouver, that number wouldn’t be as high simply because Vancouver is a very expensive place to live and so you have a lot of members unable to choose to be that close to their work.”
Rich adds building a connection with the community you serve is important. “Back when they created the Bobbies back in England was all about how the police are the community and the community are the police and some of our officers, by being that involved in the community are just so connected. It’s quite an advantage.”
Rich feels his department is a good example of officers living in the city they help protect.
“Some live right in the community, about half of us and half of us live in the communities around us. Lots of people when they’ve taken a job here have chosen to move here as well. This is an affordable community, a great community, so officers often choose to both live and police here.”
However, Rich admits if officers prefer to live in a different city — for privacy reasons, for example — it’s still possible to build strong ties, it just won’t be as easy.
Earlier this month, the federal government announced it was investing $13 billion in a bid to help Canadians find and buy a home they could actually afford. Ottawa confirmed the money would be used to help build 60,000 affordable new homes and repair 240,000 existing units.