Downtown bars and restaurants have been on the front-line in the battle to rid Kelowna of gang colours, but the business community at large is now being asked to sign on to a similar dress code policy.
The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is urging members to support a city-wide no colours policy, whereby gang members wearing clothing, patches or emblems identifying themselves as part of an organized crime group would be forbidden from entering any business until the items are removed.
While the downtown dress code was a reported success, the chamber now wants to expand the model, which relies heavily on the RCMP to enforce the rules if necessary.
“It just allows the rest of the business community the same opportunity as what’s available in the entertainment district,” explained chamber CEO Weldon LeBlanc.
“There are hotels that are interested, (and) there are some retail outlets that have said they’re totally for it,” said RCMP Const. Mark Slade, who heads up the Downtown Enforcement Unit and co-ordinates police efforts with the entertainment district.
“At this point, some of those retail outlets that want to do it, they’re not really affected by this anyways, but they want to show a bit of a united front, so that’s a step in the right direction,” he continued. “If everybody gets on board, it’s easy enough to say, ‘This is how we do business in Kelowna.’”
“And by having… an industry-wide agreement that this will happen, it takes the weight of the decision off the employees” who are tasked with enforcing the policy. To read the rest of the article: http://www.kelowna.com/2009/08/26/no-gang-colours-policy-simply-a-dress-code-police-say/