Cowichan Valley Integrated Response Team launched

Meetings to be held weekly with health, public safety and social service agency representatives

Cowichan Valley Integrated Response Team will meet weekly.

Cowichan Valley Integrated Response Team will meet weekly.

The North Cowichan/Duncan Situation Table launched its first live meeting July 14 with front-line service providers to enhance their ability to collaboratively respond to community safety challenges, clients and families that are at risk of harm or victimization.

There are more than 10 Situation Tables in B.C., with work underway to develop more in the province. North Cowichan/Duncan was the first to complete the online self-paced training and successfully launch in B.C.

The Situation Table has been re-named Cowichan Valley Integrated Response Team and will meet weekly with representatives from health, public safety and social service agencies. They proactively accept referrals and identify vulnerable individuals or families who have significant probability of criminal offending, experiencing harm or victimization or living at an acutely elevated risk.

An individual or family living at an acutely elevated risk will often struggle with addictions, basic needs, crime victimization, criminal involvement, drugs, emotional violence, housing issues, missing, school truancy, anti-social behaviour, public safety risk, suicide, poverty, unemployment, etc. The goal of the team is to review referrals and, if accepted, an intervention team is formed to provide better, faster access to services in the community.

The City of Duncan and Municipality of North Cowichan have been strong supporters in this initiative along with the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment leading the way.

Cpl. Kim Granneman, unit commander in charge of the Crimes Against Persons Unit, has completed most of the leg work and will continue to support the table on a weekly basis.

“Without local government support, the funding would not have been granted to our community,” she added. “We want to intervene quickly and assist those who are wanting and willing to accept help. Without the strong collaborative approach of the team and partnerships formed with Cowichan Tribes and local community agencies, this table would not have been created. I sincerely hope the community takes advantage of this initiative and accepts the assistance of those who can provide it.”

Funding was provided by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s Office of Crime Reduction and Gang Outreach.

“The hard work that Cpl. Granneman and our community partners have put into getting this team up and running is fantastic,” said Chris Bear, North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment commander. “The vulnerable persons in our communities now have a team of connected professionals who can work together to create solutions for those who need a helping hand.”