The North Okanagan’s new top cop says she doesn’t have all the answers — but she’s willing to listen and learn.
Superintendent Shawna Baher has taken over from Inspector Gord Stewart, and before that, Superintendent Jim McNamara as head of the Vernon-North Okanagan detachment.
“It’s not necessarily what I will do different from them. I can only do what I will do, and for me, a lot of that will be inclusiveness and it will also be in relation to, I don’t necessarily have the answers, but I know someone out there may, and those might be very good ways for us to try,” Baher told Beach Radio News.
Baher is a 26 year veteran of the force who was last working in Surrey.
She got caught-up on the issues facing the city during her her first day on her new job.
Baher was at city council, hearing about homeless issues and how to deal with the street entrenched population.
Baher says police are willing to work with the community on solutions.
“It’s actually good. People are committed to it, that’s why they’re passionate about it, so when people are passionate and want to work together, when people want to do things, like organic groups cleaning up needles, people are trying to play a role in the community, for the betterment of the community.”
Baher says her last job in Surrey had similar problems with homelessness and addictions.
“I think we have a really good base to work on. Everybody has the ability to improve. We also have the ability to improve, not saying it wasn’t good, but we have the ability to work with the community and do what’s best.”