As part of the City of Parksville’s updating of its corporate policies, they introduced a new one on how to deal with threatening, abusive, violent or potentially violent customers.
The policy is also meant as a commitment that city employees have the right to a violence-free workplace.
Chief administrative officer Fred Manson said there hasn’t been an incident as dramatic as someone being punched out, but there have been incidents of “animated” customers and the potential exists for more.
He pointed out it is easier for him to decide when to stop an aggressive call or person in the office, but for people on the front lines it is important for them to have a formal policy to guide them.
“The city expects all employees to treat the public with courtesy and respect and in doing so, receive the same treatment in return,” states a report from staff.
The policy uses the Workers Compensation Board definition of violence and includes attempted or actual use of any physical force or threats to cause injury.
The policy recognizes that everyone’s tolerance and comfort in dealing with threatening customers is different.