Coffee with: Tsawwassen officer proud to serve
Constable Leisa Schaefer's policing roots run deep in Delta.
After the Second World War two-thirds of the force were family members of hers.
"There was the chief of police who was Scott Fenton, Alfred Dennis, my grandfather, and my dad (Arthur Raines). That was it," says the newly appointed station constable at the Tsawwassen Community Police Station.
Policing and the willingness to serve the community was a family tradition back then—one that has continued with Schaefer's commitment.
"Absolutely. That's why I joined the police force. It was my desire to help people, and better my community," says the 43-year-old who joined the DPD in 2003. "And that's why primarily I've sort of come full circle back to Tsawwassen because my whole idea was to police the community that I live in."
Part of that is to increase the connection the community has with the which is located at 1108-56th St.
"It's my goal to enhance the relationship with the community and make this the 'go-to' place for people with any questions or concerns they may have," Schaefer said. "It's been good so far, and I want to build on that."
Not having the station located in the centre of town has had its drawbacks in promoting its presence, but Schaefer says she will be making herself prominent in the community and will plug the service wherever and whenever she can.
"I want to let people know we're here and what we do. That's the biggest thing for me."
One of the more prominent programs is the Community Crime Watch service which, thanks to volunteers, extends the reach of the police department with regular park and community patrols.
"Those are very active on Friday and Saturday nights. One of my goals for that is to maybe enhance that so it's not just run on weekends and the evenings. Maybe it could be during the day."
Business Watch is another popular program which provides information on local crime—breaks-ins, fraud attempts, and robberies—that would be of interest to local merchants.
"We'll also go out and do security premise checks for them."
Schaefer is also planning to make herself prominent in the community by keeping a regular beat through the town.
"That's the basic premise behind community policing is me as the community police officer being out there and being seen by the community."
At the moment the station has 40 or so volunteers which provide the staffing power to operate the community programs.
"Obviously, I'd like more volunteers. Most of them work in the office and the rest do the Community Crime Watch and work the weekends.
"They are fantastic," she adds. "They're all dedicated and hardworking. And they've all got a huge desire to make a difference."
Just like her grandfather and father were during their day in uniform.
"I wasn't even glint in my father's eyes when he was a special constable, but he was a man of honour and integrity and we were raised believing and knowing that was the right way to go. He stood up for the right thing.
"Those traits were definitely put down to all of his kids. And part of serving the community is being worthy of that."