On April 14th, Staff Sgt. Laura Akitt of the Turner Valley detachment commenced a new personal initiative in an effort to increase community engagement since some forms of her usual methods of communication with the community have been impacted by COVID-19. She calls this new compact report “Mountie Moments”.
Her first issue included: 1) a bar graph of offenses committed the previous week (April 5-11) broken out by type of offense and region. The regions were: Foothills County, Turner Valley, Black Diamond, Longview and Eden Valley.
This was followed by a “What Went on Last Week” section wherein she described one of the offenses – a suspicious vehicle that was stopped and resulted in a drug bust with charges laid.
The last section was a personal message from Sgt. Akitt wherein she encouraged residents to contact her at KFoothillsEngagement@rcmp-grc.gc.ca with any concerns or questions. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of this e-mail address. If you have a general policing questions please send it to me and if it is something that I believe everyone could benefit from I will share it with my response.”
“My goal is to weekly compile the STATS from each previous week and submit this information, as well as a highlight section outlining important information or investigations which are relevant to the county and communities.”
At the time of writing, we at HCRCWA are in the process of determining the best method of getting this valuable information out to our members. It might be via fanout, posting to our Facebook page, or something else.
This type of information is something that I personally find very useful and fully endorse. As not only a HCRCWA executive, but also as a general member of our community, I find it very helpful to know the extent and type of criminal activity prevalent. While we should always be vigilant, it is useful to know what is going on around us (even if it were nothing) so that we can adjust our level of security and watchfulness to meet the situation, since, as the more diligent of you are aware, combating personal crime can be a time-consuming and sometimes expensive proposition. We have to lock everything up every night or every time we go away for even an hour or more. We install gates, lighting (motion sensor or other), security cameras and other measures to ensure our safety and security. To know the level of a threat allows us to appropriately adjust our time and dollars spent to the situation we are facing.
Changing the subject a little bit, for those of you who access the RCMP crime map: rcmp-k-div.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index, there was an issue with logging in where you needed an ArcGIS account instead of the usual ticking off of the compliance box. This has now been fixed and the box tick is once again the method of access.
In another initiative from Suzanne Oel, President of HCRCWA, Foothills County will now issue tax receipts for donations to the HCRCWA. Cheques will have to be written to Foothill County with specific directions to support the HCRCWA. This is in response to some anonymous or otherwise donations the HCRCWA has received from individuals or companies.
HCRCWA’s budget is in the neighbourhood of $1,500/year. We are a non-profit, totally volunteer organization and our annual costs are related to a mailbox, website, email upgrades and telephone program for fanouts, provincial Crime Watch membership, signs, and some other minor costs related to running the HCRCWA. These generous donations, including the significant donation from TC Energy have allowed membership to be free of charge to all HCRCWA members for a number of years now.
As a historical point of note, we held our first Zoom HCRCWA annual meeting on Saturday, March 6. Normally this meeting is held at the Priddis Hall but COVID-19 had other ideas this year. We had a number of people participate, which was good to see as, in addition to the usual business items handled at an annual meeting, we had presentations by Staff Sgt. Laura Akitt and Darlene Roblin, Foothills Emergency Services Manager.
Submitted by Dave Schroeder
HCRCWA Board Member