From Sgt. Andy Stewart of the Saanich Police Department:
I want to say Thank-you to the executive of the Cadboro Bay Residents Association for the manner in which you handled the recent protest in Cadboro Gyro Park.
I will start by saying the “proof is in the pudding” in that we had almost zero police related calls for service during the last week. The three that I heard were very minor and along the lines of what I had anticipated. One was a person disturbing patrons outside of Smugglers Cove which they left once police arrived, the second was a person sleeping in a sleeping bag in front of Starbucks and the third was person asking for money from an early morning walker but nothing untoward happened when the person declined.
I heard from Saanich Parks that the washrooms were clean the entire week and there was no evidence of needles in the washroom or park.
Although some residents were upset and may not agree with the individuals protesting or willing to have “undesirables” (actual word used by one resident) in “their backyard” (referring to the park) the police role in a public protest is to not take sides but manage the safety and security of all citizens. In this situation, we can confidently say this was achieved as the event was peaceful and there were no major incidents.
Thank you again and I look forward to continuing the strong partnership between the Saanich Police Department and the Cadboro Bay Residents Association.