Realty Watch


REALTOR® Helps Find Missing Person

Father remembered

Missing senior located by Realty Watch

REALTORS® Commend RCMP on Robbery Investigation

Law Enforcement and Real Estate Industry Celebrate Milestone in Thirteen-year Partnership

Realty Watch Helps Police Find Missing Teen


 

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News Release issued by Greater Vancouver REALTORS®
July 15, 2016:

REALTOR® HELPS FIND MISSING PERSON

Port Coquitlam REALTOR® Risa Bassetto was integral to finding a missing person earlier this month.

Risa was alerted through the Realty Watch program – a partnership between local police departments, the RCMP and more than 14,000 Realtors across the Lower Mainland.

"Risa was instrumental in finding this elderly person," said Detective Constable Raymond Payette, Vancouver Police Department (VPD). "She and the Realty Watch program allowed us to find this senior safe."

Risa was driving home when she saw an elderly person on the sidewalk. Gut instinct told her something wasn't right. She checked the Realty Watch fan-out that was sent by VPD and discovered it was the same person.

Past successes

  • A White Rock Realtor received a police fan-out and realised the elderly woman he had just helped was listed as missing in May 2009.
  • The Langley RCMP credits Realty Watch with the swift discovery and return of a missing teenager in July 2006.

Realty Watch is a community crime prevention program operating across the Lower Mainland since 1995. It's operated by the Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Chilliwack and District real estate boards.

Realtors observe and report to police any suspicious activity that they may happen upon in their day-to-day business.

In emergency situations, Realtors respond to a police or RCMP requests to search for missing or abducted persons, or life threatening situations.

Learn more at the Realty Watch website at www.realtywatch.net.

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News Release issued by Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver REALTORS® June 22, 2007:

LAW ENFORCEMENT AND REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY CELEBRATE MILESTONE IN THIRTEEN-YEAR PARTNERSHIP

At Realty Watch's 8th Annual Police Breakfast, Fraser Valley REALTOR® Bonnie Moy (front) spoke about Realty Watch’s beginnings. Chief Constable Jamie Graham of the Vancouver Police Department (centre) congratulated REALTORS® on how far they’ve come. Flanking the Chief are the event’s
two masters of ceremony, K. Scott Russell, vice president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and Jim McCaughan, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

(VANCOUVER, BC) – Law enforcement and the real estate industry celebrated a milestone in Surrey today - the quadrupling in size of an already impressive community crime prevention program.

Representatives from key Lower Mainland police and RCMP detachments—including Chief Constable Jamie Graham from the Vancouver Police Department (VPD)— joined REALTORS® from Whistler to Hope and everywhere in between to acknowledge that Realty Watch has developed into one of the most powerful allies for law enforcement in the Lower Mainland.

With the recent addition of REALTORS® from Greater Vancouver participating in the Realty Watch fan-out program, along with their colleagues from the Fraser Valley and Chilliwack, Realty Watch now offers law enforcement 12,000 extra ‘eyes and ears’ in time-critical cases such as child abductions or missing persons in areas where police most need extra resources, community neighbourhoods.

“REALTORS® were one of the first groups of professionals to activate a program of this type. The more eyes and ears helping police the better,” explains VPD Chief Constable Jamie Graham. “Of all the people we have to worry about, we don’t have to worry about REALTORS®.  [They’re] on our side.”

Police alert the real estate boards of a missing person or suspicious vehicle, and then within 15 minutes a text message called a Realty Watch fan-out is issued to every REALTOR® on their cell phones, Blackberries or PDAs.

It was a White Rock father, Paul Cameron who originated the concept of a REALTOR® fan-out. When his 15-year-old daughter Pamela, who would later the same day be found murdered, went missing in 1994, he phoned his REALTOR® to ask how all real estate agents could be alerted to be on the lookout for her. Now living in Waterdown, Ontario, Paul Cameron was not surprised to hear about Realty Watch’s expansion.

“REALTORS® are such a logical resource to help, so I expected the program would mushroom. Particularly because it’s not just about finding missing children like my daughter. I knew there was potential for growth for helping seniors and other missing people,” says Cameron. “Community safety has to come from the bottom up.”

Realty Watch now receives police activated fan-outs monthly.  Successes include helping police find missing persons in 2000, 2005 and 2006. White Rock REALTOR® Bonnie Moy started volunteering for the program in 1995.

“Year after year, we’ve increased police and public awareness of our program. Our dream is to see Realty Watch go provincial and then national,” which Moy says is more than possible. “Why not? REALTORS are the perfect resource to help. We’re spread out through all neighbourhoods, we’re always on the move, and we’re constantly looking at houses and properties.”

For more information on Realty Watch, please visit www.realtywatch.net.

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Article from Peace Arch News
October 19, 2010:

FATHER REMEMBERED

Sixteen years ago, Paul Cameron – whose family had recently moved to the Peninsula – asked his realtor to alert her colleagues to be on the lookout for his daughter.

Pamela Cameron, 16, had failed to show up to meet her boyfriend. The next day, her body was found in a vacant lot at the side of 152 Street.

While Paul Cameron's callout didn't locate the girl in time to save her, it did inspire a system that continues to help in searches for lost and missing people across Canada.

"He was the idea behind the Realty Watch system," said Bonnie Moy, speaking of the legacy Paul Cameron left behind, after he was buried in Milton, Ont. last week. He had succumbed to cancer at age 65.

"When Pam went missing, he was wondering if I could page a few realtors to help look for her. We have kept that in play for all of these years. That was the good thing that came out of it."

Paul Cameron died Oct. 6, two months after a diagnosis of lung cancer, and two days after the 16th anniversary of his daughter's 1994 murder.

"It was really horrible news," said Moy.

"He was a very funny guy. I just enjoyed all my time with him."

Moy helped Cameron find and buy a townhome for his family, who moved to the Peninsula from Ontario less than two months before Pamela was killed.

Realty Watch launched in 1995. In 2000, it was expanded to include, on police request, a text-message fan-out to realtors asking them to be on the lookout in emergency situations. It has been used with success in communities including Langley, Surrey and White Rock.

Moy said Cameron and his wife, Marilyn were also supportive of efforts by Peace and Justice for Canadians, a now-defunct group that formed in Pamela's memory to lobby for changes to laws around dangerous offenders, before moving back to Ontario.

As well, the Camerons appreciated a garden that was created in the wake of Pamela's murder, Moy said. The Forever Garden, located just east of the South Surrey Arena, remains dedicated to all who die tragically young.

Carol Short, who helped form PJC, described Cameron as "a great community person."

"He and Marilyn just became a great addition to the White Rock community, very supportive. Even through all their trials and tribulations, they remained positive."

 

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News Release issued by Fraser Valley REALTORS®
June 8, 2009:

MISSING SENIOR LOCATED BY REALTY WATCH

(Surrey, BC) – The White Rock RCMP credit Realty Watch, the community crime prevention program of Lower Mainland REALTORS®, for helping them locate a missing, vulnerable senior within one hour of asking for their assistance.

The RCMP issued a press release at 10:05 am, Thursday morning, May 28, 2009 asking the public for help in locating a 91 year old female, suffering from dementia, missing from her care home in White Rock, BC since the early morning.

At 10:29 am, they contacted the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board requesting it issue a Realty Watch “fan-out” – a text message that is sent simultaneously to its 3,000 members – only used in urgent circumstances such as missing people. At 10:50 am, every REALTOR® in the Fraser Valley received a 300-character message including the woman’s description, location last seen and an appeal to be on the lookout.

At 11:28 am, Cst. Janelle Canning, Media Liaison officer with the White Rock RCMP, sent a follow-up email to Realty Watch. “Thanks so much, we have located the female with your REALTOR’S® help! Yeah, Realty Watch!”

That REALTOR® was Dan Korness of Royal LePage Northstar Realty in Surrey. His story illustrates why REALTORS® are an excellent public safety tool for police. They’re always on the move, spread across all neighbourhoods and are equipped with communication devices.

On the morning the senior was reported missing, Korness was showing a house on 20th Avenue in South Surrey. He was outside with his clients when an elderly woman walking nearby on the sidewalk, stumbled and fell. Another passerby reached her first then everyone joined in to offer assistance. Other than a few scrapes, she appeared to be okay, but to be on the safe side, an ambulance was called.

An hour later, Korness was now kilometres away at a different White Rock listing when he received the Realty Watch fan-out text message for a missing person. The description strongly resembled the elderly woman that had fallen… in particular her age, hair colour and white sweater.

“I just put two and two together. So I called the police telling them that I thought the missing senior they were looking for might be at the Peace Arch Hospital and told them the story of what happened in front of the house.”

The White Rock RCMP took down his information, including the fact that he was a REALTOR® and member of Realty Watch, then contacted the hospital to confirm that it was indeed the missing woman, who was recovering nicely from her fall and would be returning safely to her care home.

“Realty Watch was instrumental in locating her,” says Cst. Canning. “We’d like to offer special thanks to Dan Korness and all REALTORS® for caring for their communities by participating in this program.”

This is Realty Watch’s third success in the Fraser Valley – REALTORS® spotted a runaway boy in 2000 and a missing teen in 2006. Over 12,800 REALTORS® in Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Chilliwack participate in the program. Find more information at www.realtywatch.net.

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News Release issued by Fraser Valley REALTORS®
October 10, 2007:

REALTORS® COMMEND RCMP ON ROBBERY INVESTIGATION

(Surrey, BC) – Members of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board extend their gratitude and appreciation to the Surrey RCMP for their swift apprehension of suspects involved in the recent confinement and robbery of a Surrey REALTOR® and their extensive communication with the real estate profession during the investigation.

“When something this serious happens to one REALTOR®, it affects all of us,” says Jim McCaughan, President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. “Because the Surrey RCMP has such a strong community focus, our members have been included throughout this investigation and in turn, have been able to provide assistance to the police. It’s been effective, open dialogue with results.”

In a Media Advisory today, the RCMP credited the REALTOR® involved in the October 2 incident with assisting investigators in tracking down the suspects so quickly. They also praised Lower Mainland REALTORS®’ crime prevention program: Realty Watch. The Fraser Valley Board sent a text description of the two suspects to its 3,000 plus members the day after the incident.

On October 5, two males were apprehended and now face a number of charges including Robbery and Unlawful Confinement. They bound, gagged and robbed the REALTOR® while she was showing them a home.

“As professionals, we tend to put our clients’ needs first and sometimes don’t stop to think about our own personal safety. When incidents like this occur it brings the risks we take to the forefront,” explains McCaughan. “I’m confident members of the public will understand why their REALTOR® may take precautions like asking first-time clients to meet in the office or bringing another colleague to a showing.”

Those are only two of the recommendations Fraser Valley REALTORS® receive in a personal safety guide that the Board issues to its members and posts on its internal website. Realty Watch also promotes REALTOR® safety, community safety and offers a service to Lower Mainland police forces whereby REALTORS® are extra ‘eyes and ears’ in the community. For more information, go to www.realtywatch.net.

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News Release issued by Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver REALTORS® June 22, 2007:

LAW ENFORCEMENT AND REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY CELEBRATE MILESTONE IN THIRTEEN-YEAR PARTNERSHIP

At Realty Watch's 8th Annual Police Breakfast, Fraser Valley REALTOR® Bonnie Moy (front) spoke about Realty Watch’s beginnings. Chief Constable Jamie Graham of the Vancouver Police Department (centre) congratulated REALTORS® on how far they’ve come. Flanking the Chief are the event’s
two masters of ceremony, K. Scott Russell, vice president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and Jim McCaughan, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

(VANCOUVER, BC) – Law enforcement and the real estate industry celebrated a milestone in Surrey today - the quadrupling in size of an already impressive community crime prevention program.

Representatives from key Lower Mainland police and RCMP detachments—including Chief Constable Jamie Graham from the Vancouver Police Department (VPD)— joined REALTORS® from Whistler to Hope and everywhere in between to acknowledge that Realty Watch has developed into one of the most powerful allies for law enforcement in the Lower Mainland.

With the recent addition of REALTORS® from Greater Vancouver participating in the Realty Watch fan-out program, along with their colleagues from the Fraser Valley and Chilliwack, Realty Watch now offers law enforcement 12,000 extra ‘eyes and ears’ in time-critical cases such as child abductions or missing persons in areas where police most need extra resources, community neighbourhoods.

“REALTORS® were one of the first groups of professionals to activate a program of this type. The more eyes and ears helping police the better,” explains VPD Chief Constable Jamie Graham. “Of all the people we have to worry about, we don’t have to worry about REALTORS®.  [They’re] on our side.”

Police alert the real estate boards of a missing person or suspicious vehicle, and then within 15 minutes a text message called a Realty Watch fan-out is issued to every REALTOR® on their cell phones, Blackberries or PDAs.

It was a White Rock father, Paul Cameron who originated the concept of a REALTOR® fan-out. When his 15-year-old daughter Pamela, who would later the same day be found murdered, went missing in 1994, he phoned his REALTOR® to ask how all real estate agents could be alerted to be on the lookout for her. Now living in Waterdown, Ontario, Paul Cameron was not surprised to hear about Realty Watch’s expansion.

“REALTORS® are such a logical resource to help, so I expected the program would mushroom. Particularly because it’s not just about finding missing children like my daughter. I knew there was potential for growth for helping seniors and other missing people,” says Cameron. “Community safety has to come from the bottom up.”

Realty Watch now receives police activated fan-outs monthly.  Successes include helping police find missing persons in 2000, 2005 and 2006. White Rock REALTOR® Bonnie Moy started volunteering for the program in 1995.

“Year after year, we’ve increased police and public awareness of our program. Our dream is to see Realty Watch go provincial and then national,” which Moy says is more than possible. “Why not? REALTORS are the perfect resource to help. We’re spread out through all neighbourhoods, we’re always on the move, and we’re constantly looking at houses and properties.”

For more information on Realty Watch, please visit www.realtywatch.net.

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News Release issued by Fraser Valley REALTORS®
July 5, 2006:

REALTY WATCH HELPS POLICE FIND MISSING TEEN



Langley REALTOR® Georgina Pister (right) of Sutton Group Westcoast Realty, was on her way to a hair appointment with longtime friend and hairstylist Barb Guran (left) when she received the fan-out message on her cell phone.

(Surrey, BC) - The Langley RCMP credit Realty Watch, the community crime prevention program of Lower Mainland REALTORS®, with the swift discovery and return of a missing Langley teenager on May 23, 2006.

“We were very happy to see that the program works so well, especially in this situation of a missing person or runaway when anything could happen,” says Cst. Ryan Forbes, one of the investigating officers in the case. “Realty Watch saved us a lot of time and most importantly got her home safe and sound.”

Roxanne Stockly, called Breanna by her friends and family, was reported missing by the Langley RCMP on Monday, May 23. She is 19 years old but is special needs and has the thought process of a young child. Her foster family had not heard from her since the day before, nor did she show up at school on Monday. Police alerted Realty Watch Monday afternoon . A text message with Breanna’s description was issued to all Fraser Valley REALTORS® as an urgent message at 2:15 pm. Delivery takes approximately 15 minutes and goes to all REALTORS®’ cell phones, blackberries or PDAs and email.

Langley REALTOR® Georgina Pister of Sutton Group Westcoast Realty, was on her way to a 3:00 pm hair appointment with longtime friend and hairstylist Barb Guran when she received the fan-out message on her cell phone. (see photo: Georgina on the right, Barb left)

“I read it in the car literally five minutes before I walked into Barb’s house,” explained Georgina. “And here’s Ashley, Barb’s daughter, in the middle of telling her mother about her friend ‘Breanna’ who everyone’s worried about because she didn’t show up at school today.”

Recognizing the name, Georgina showed Barb Guran the Realty Watch text message on her phone and as they were reading it aloud together, the Guran’s home phone rang. It was Breanna calling to talk to Ashley. Barb Guran immediately phoned the Langley RCMP on her cell phone and provided them with the information to locate Breanna Stockly. She was reunited with her foster family that same day.

Cst. Forbes says this success illustrates how “crime prevention isn’t just the police’s job, it’s the entire community working together. So, finding out that REALTORS® not only receive and look at these messages but also share them, is huge.”

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Fraser Valley Real Estate Board
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board
 
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