Community collaboration celebrated at Realty Watch Police Breakfast

When Realty Watch was conceived 21 years ago, the concept was that REALTORS® working in their communities could collaborate with police to help find missing children, seniors, and vulnerable adults. This year, that concept was realized when Realtor Risa Bassetto responded to a Realty Watch fan-out and helped bring a missing senior home to his family.

Risa and the Realty Watch program were featured at the Realty Watch Police Breakfast, which kicked off the BC Crime Prevention Association’s annual symposium, on October 28 in Richmond. At the breakfast, REBGV President Dan Morrison and FVREB President Charles Wiebe explained what Realty Watch is and how it works to an audience of law enforcement officials from around the province.

This video detailing Risa’s experience was shown to emphasize the effectiveness of Realty Watch.

The keynote speaker this year was Superintendent Steve Eely of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD). Referencing the famous line from the father of modern policing, Robert Peel, Eely noted that “‘the police are the public and the public are the police.’ And working with the community has paid huge dividends, there’s no question.”

His presentation focused on other examples of collaborative VPD programs, including Project 529, which encourages bike owners to register their bikes with the police, and the newly-launched Safe Place, where businesses and other groups register to be safe havens for victims fleeing from or wanting to report a hate crime.

Realty Watch allows police to utilize the eyes and ears of Realtors who work in the Lower Mainland. When police request a fan-out, a text message with a description of the missing person and where they were last seen is sent simultaneously to 16,000 Realtors.

To learn more about the program, visit