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Letter: I'm tired of Coquitlam RCMP silencing valid fears

The Editor, Re: “ Coquitlam RCMP regret 'white van' abduction statement after backlash ,” (Tri-City News, Feb.
Coquitlam RCMP retracted a statement earlier this month after a public backlash criticized the detachment for downplaying the public's concerns

The Editor,

Re: “Coquitlam RCMP regret 'white van' abduction statement after backlash,” (Tri-City News, Feb. 8)

I'm writing this on behalf of not only myself and the women in my community but the children and teenagers who are growing up and watching the subtle dismissal and silencing of valid fears coming from recent incidents in the area.

However, this is about much more than just recent events. As someone who grew up in Coquitlam, I can say my dealings in feeling validated while speaking to police officers in the past about different matters of concern left me feeling downplayed and not taken seriously. I know I speak for many in the community.

The RCMP released a statement earlier this month and then followed up with a clarification of their words soon after.

What should have happened was an apology and a commitment to us, the community, that incidents spiking fear are taken as a high priority and an encouragement to report anything suspicious to be followed up with by the RCMP.

I urge the RCMP to release a media statement acknowledging a renewed commitment to hearing reports and taking each of them seriously since their duty is to serve and protect.

Their words have led to multiple conversation threads in different community groups with members using words like “overreact” and “looking for attention.”

The precedent needs to be set by the authorities so that community members know that following or intimidating anyone is unacceptable and not just seen as hysteria.

Now is the time to step up and remove some words from the media statements and give us a renewed sense of equality. Women are tired of having to look over our shoulder and then not being taken seriously.

Jessa Turner, Coquitlam