Vancouver – Vancouver Police today released the final results from the neighbourhood response team (NRT) initiative. The team was deployed for 42 days in response to increasing street-level crime and growing citizen concern about crime in Vancouver.
“Over the month and a half that this team was deployed, officers responded to more than 1,400 calls for service along Granville Street downtown, and in Strathcona, Chinatown and Yaletown,” says Constable Tania Visintin, VPD. “Throughout these interactions, 210 weapons were taken off the streets. There is no doubt that those weapons would have been used in the commission of serious, and possibly deadly, offences.”
Some notable files:
- A NRT member observed a man walking with a long black taser baton sticking out of his cart. The man was arrested for possession of a prohibited weapon. A second taser baton, multiple knives, brass knuckles, and prohibited knives were located in his possession.
- NRT members responded to a call for a young female who appeared to be agitated, flailing her arms, and running into traffic. NRT members located the female and were able to calm her down. The female was 17-years-old and was addicted to fentanyl. She stated she was coming down from a multi-night drug bender and had not slept in three days. In collaboration with the VPD Assertive Outreach Team, the female was transported to the Providence Crosstown Clinic where she was connected with her mental health team.
- A NRT member was conducting patrols in the west lane of the 1000 block Granville Street when he observed a man slumped over a table with an empty pipe in his hand. The man was unconscious, cold, and stiff to the touch. Paramedics were called and the man was revived after Narcan was administered and he was taken to hospital for monitoring. It is likely that the man would not have been found and saved if it were not for the NRT member conducting patrols.
“NRT members engaged with over 300 people on the street, checking on their safety and wellbeing while handing out dozens of sleeping bags and snack packs that were donated by various charities,” adds Constable Visintin. “Over 150 people were referred to shelters. Fifteen people successfully obtained a shelter spot.”
The primary responsibility of the neighborhood response team was to respond to calls for service regarding street disorder, make proactive patrols in areas with growing street disorder problems, and to engage with residents in the community.