Having just arrived from Kindersley, Saskatchewan, the new Smithers Prevention and Community Safety Officer, Perry Lewin, could not be more pleased with his new community to serve.
“I was very happy and very excited about the opportunity, and I have wanted to move to B.C. for quite some time,” Lewin exclaimed, having already bought his season’s pass for the ski hill.
Spending time in Alberta and Saskatchewan as a Bylaw Officer and Community Safety Officer, Lewin says that B.C. is definitely different.
“I think there’s a lot more potential for what they (officers) can do and how they can serve their community. So I’m just trying to learn how everything is structured, and the Municipalities Act of where the municipalities get their powers from and what controls the municipalities, at this point,” Lewin said.
Lewin intends to be active in the community, getting out on the streets, meeting with people and business owners, and working with schools, and defining where his efforts will be most effective.
After some time to adjust, Lewin looks forward to getting the Community Watch and Citizens on Patrol groups active within the community again.
Explaining his vision is not just enforcing by-laws, but to help improve safety of the community.
“I’m driven. Firstly, by empathy. I try to understand people, I tried to engage with them, and I try to see how I can help and then to engage any agencies that that can help,” Lewin said.
He notes Smithers has a wealth of knowledge in the agencies in the valley and he looks forward to opportunities such as the Situation Table, where he can bring his support.
“I know my predecessor Matt (Davey) was here for a long time, but you will notice slight changes in the way the office is run, my uniform is different, the vehicle is a bit different, we are different people, so change is normal. He set out great groundwork and reference for me, and our common work. I come at with another set of eyes and knowledge to add to and help the community with.”
Lewin was busy updating the office on First Avenue, where he invites the public to drop by and visit on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.