COMOX VALLEY, B.C. – The Comox Valley RCMP is asking for help in making the valley safer for the LGBTQ community.

The local police are looking for businesses and organizations to take part in the newly launched Safe Place Program. 

The goal of the program is to provide a place for victims or witnesses of crimes involving the LGBTQ community to call the police and wait for officers to arrive.

The Comox Valley RCMP says the program will provide security to the LGBTQ community when they are hesitant about calling the police to report a crime.

Cst. Monika Terragni is the local Safe Place liaison officer and said the Comox Valley RCMP is taking a proactive approach in keeping the valley safe for everyone.

“It’s a program that we saw being launched in other communities and that the BC RCMP has taken on,” she said. “We want anybody and everybody to feel safe calling the police in the Comox Valley.”

She added that the program is a good fit for the valley.

“When we saw this program we thought it was perfect. If we can make people comfortable and identify some places where they are able to go and call the police and wait for us, in a safe environment, then it’s a program that we want to have in the Comox Valley.”

Business owners who take part will sign a pledge which agrees to educate employees about the program, to provide a safe place to call the police and to allow callers to stay until officers arrive. 

Businesses will be provided with a poster and/or sticker to display on the front of their business.

Terragni noted that many crimes involving the local LGBTQ community are not reported. 

“We want all members of our community to feel safe coming to the police with any concerns by providing them with a safe place to do so,” she added.

Interested businesses and/or organizations can contact Terragni at 250-338-1321.