A nice article was posted in the Vancouver Sun today explaining how realtors can get involved in searching for missing people. A good read.
The Realty Watch program is a standing commitment from the nearly 14,000 Realtors in the Lower Mainland to mobilize in the event of a child or vulnerable person going missing in the community.
This collective pledge from the profession to the public embodies the community-minded approach that Realtors bring to their work every day.
"The Realty Watch Program is both unique and powerful. It can trigger an almost instantaneous mobilization of 14,000 professionals, who are also dedicated and eager citizens willing to engage with the police in support of broader community needs," said Insp. Terry Kopan, Officer in Charge, "E" Division Crime Prevention & Program Support Services.
How does Realty Watch work? Realty Watch is a community crime prevention program operating across the Lower Mainland. Police ask for a fan-out when children, seniors or other vulnerable adults go missing. A Realty Watch fanout simultaneously text-messages Realtors across the Lower Mainland. Fanouts are initiated by police and sent by participating real estate boards.
In the past year, real estate boards in northern BC and the Okanagan have undertaken steps to introduce the Realty Watch program in their communities. Soon, thousands more Realtors will be helping police keep look out for missing people in our communities.
Realtors have found three missing people since the program began 11 years ago.
Realty Watch developed from tragic circumstances. In 1996, a White Rock teen was murdered and later discovered less than four blocks from where she was last seen. Her father had asked for the help of local Realtors suggesting they would be an excellent resource to help search for missing people. Afterall, their work brought them into communities daily, they were connected via mobile devices, and could receive an instantaneous message from their professional associations - the real estate boards.
Realtors within the Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Chilliwack real estate boards received 21 police-requested fan-outs to help find missing children and vulnerable adults through Realty Watch last year.
For more information about Realty Watch, please visit www.realtywatch.net.