Last night Cote Saint-Luc’s volunteer Citizens on Patrol (vCOP) marked 10 years of service by handing out lapel pins to its long serving members. I am very proud of what we’ve built here in CSL – a large and strong corps of dedicated volunteers ready to serve our community at all hours of day or night. We are the only volunteer group of this sort in Quebec.
The men and women of Cote Saint-Luc volunteer Citizens on Patrol

The men and women of Cote Saint-Luc volunteer Citizens on Patrol

Back in 2005 I had the idea to import this concept from the Broward Sheriff’s Office as seen on my Florida vacation. I marched into the police office and spent an hour with the officer in charge of the volunteers and left with a few pounds of documents and loads of plans for CSL. Once we reconstituted CSL after the forced mergers, and with the elections behind me, I got busy building this service, in consultation with our Public Safety department and local police commander.
Ten years later and 82 volunteers strong we now enter our second decade.
At last night’s bi-monthly patrol meeting two patrollers were recognized for their outstanding service. Allan Greenberg was singled out as the Patroller of the Month for June and the miraculous Ron Yarin for July.
vCOP Ron Yarin receives the Patroller of the Month by Supervisor Mitchell Herf

vCOP Ron Yarin receives the Patroller of the Month by Supervisor Mitchell Herf

 

The guest speaker was Beatrice Newman, Director of Public Works. Affectionately known as Bebe, she described her love for the city and how the majority of her family of 30 Newmans still reside in CSL.
Bebe Newman
Bebe has been with the city administration for nine years, moving up from administrative services to manager of operations and customer service in PW, to assistant director and most recently director of PW. Having taken on responsibility to manage garbage collection, Bebe outsourced the service in 2015, saving over $1 Million for taxpayers. She has participated at conferences in Canada and the US and won international public works awards three years in a row.
PW receives over 1200 calls each month. “They’re all complaints,” Bebe commiserated. “It would be nice to receive a call saying, ‘Hey PW, you guys have done a great job.’ No matter how many calls come in, Bebe’s staff are  geared toward solving problems, big and small, for the residents of CSL.
Lots of discussion centred around the problem of the Emerald Ash Borer and the number of trees dying and requiring to be felled. “The city is now offering to allow residents to cut down a dead tree and to leave it on the front yard. The city will cut it up and transport it away,” she said. “A permit is required to cut down a tree, but there is no cost.” Bebe continued, “If your tree has no leaves, in the summer, it’s dead.” The city has a revegitation program and it is important to replace felled trees and to maintain the tree canopy.
Bebe explained that there is currently a problem with Sand Wasps in playgrounds. “They’re harmless and hover around the sand and feed off bugs. They won’t sting,” Bebe said, “but they’re frightening.” Signs have been posted in problematic parks to allay concerns of residents. “They’ll all be dead by end of August.”
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Sand Wasps have taken over some play areas in CSL this summer