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Whistler RCMP selects new community engagement team leader

Council briefs: information governance policy adopted
Cpl. Jeff Witzki (left) is the Whistler RCMP’s new community engagement team leader. Photo by Braden Dupuis

The Whistler RCMP is hoping to expand its community outreach by way of a new community engagement team leader.

Cpl. Jeff Witzki has been in the role for the past month, said Insp. Kara Triance in a presentation to Whistler council on July 23.

As a police supervisor, Witzki has under his command a municipal traffic employee as well as the victim services position, Triance said.

"Over the next year we're hoping that he can build a team of community policing volunteers that are security cleared and can help him in delivering community policing programs that can be done in a volunteer capacity," she said.

Witzki has been busy in his first month, creating a new seasonal bike patrol, taking over the adopt-a-school program and pulling stakeholders together to address community issues or at-risk people in a collaborative way.

The approach is different than what the RCMP was doing before, Triance said.

"Formerly your community police constable was a sole entity in the community on [their] own, working community policing functions, which has a bit of a silo effect," she said, adding that Witzki has under his purview the ability to manage and deploy resources more strategically.

"We're hoping that you'll see this kind of grow over the next year or two, and we can come back before you and say, 'Here's where we're at with the results,'" she said.

"If it's working, great—we'll continue on with it, and if not, we change directions. So more to come on this."


Also at the July 23 meeting, council adopted a new policy pertaining to information governance.

The policy's stated objectives are threefold: to establish a mandate and foundation for the management of info, records, data and their security; to create a framework of standards, practices and definitions to align existing procedures, inform future initiatives and create consistency; and to reaffirm the RMOW's commitment to meeting its legal obligations while maintaining public transparency and maximizing the value of information.

"The RMOW has a lot of collaboration happening, we have been trying to use technology and methodology to maximize the value of our information, we've been trying to protect against the risk of that information—what we do not have is a formal, in-writing type of policy and process that describes how we actually do that, and that's what we're trying to accomplish," said records and information management coordinator Brian Gilroy in a presentation to council.

"For a municipal government, maximizing information value means things like the better delivery of municipal services, it means responding to Freedom of Information requests and requests for information, and it means safeguarding people's personal information, which is one of the crucial aspects of this policy."

In short, the information governance policy is basically the RMOW's overarching strategy concerning information, Gilroy said.

"It's a framework in which we make our decisions about the software that we employ, the scanning techniques that we employ, the organization of our information within our document and records management systems," he said.

"The underlying aspect, of course, is that this is based on standards and accountability and oversight. The RMOW staff has been working particularly hard over the last nine months or so to actually establish these standards ... The one key aspect that we're missing is a formal structure to publish and communicate those."

The RMOW is also continuing work on digitizing all of its records, including council packages, presentations and reports.

"Essentially all the most important records of the municipality, especially the ones that are permanent, the ones that are vital," Gilroy said.

"The end goal is to have a searchable, electronic index that is dependable and defensible."