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Friday, December 3, 2021

Kelowna RCMP pauses ‘safe place’ program following feedback from Kelowna Pride Society

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The head of the Kelowna RCMP detachment issued an apology Tuesday afternoon for the way the RCMP went about rolling out the provincial “safe place” program locally.

Supt. Kara Triance admitted the RCMP botched the rollout of the initiative when it launched the program in Kelowna without consulting locally with the community the program is meant to help.

The program is aimed at providing safe spaces for people in the LGBT2Q+ community if they need a place to call police and wait for help to arrive.

Businesses or organizations wishing to be part of the program would apply to the RCMP and display a decal.

However, the general manager of the Kelowna Pride Society said he first heard about the local RCMP rolling out the program from the media.

Dustyn Baulkham said that left him thinking: “What the heck is going on? Like why was the LGBT community not consulted?”

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While the Pride Society said it appreciates the RCMP’s intention, it was concerned about the program being launched without input from the local community.

“We have all these unanswered questions about the program and the process,” Baulkham told Global News Tuesday morning.

“What support do businesses get? And the RCMP members who are showing up to this call, what training do they have?”

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