Friday, December 2, 2022

Coaldale looking to create Citizens on Patrol group

Crime happens in Coaldale, but not for long.

Coaldale Town Council is looking to the community for volunteers for a local citizens on patrol group which will work in conjunction with RCMP to keep watch over streets and neighbourhoods in Coaldale.

In the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, Council identified public safety as one of their key priorities and as a result has focused on ensuring a strong connection and collaboration between the Community Peace Officer Program and the RCMP but are looking to explore opportunities that will help to empower town residents to keep their community safe.

Like other municipalities in Alberta, Coaldale is looking to create a Citizens on Patrol group that will work with the RCMP.

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“When we look around the province at what other municipalities are doing to enhance public safety, we see that a lot of them have established Citizens on Patrol groups”, said Town of Coaldale Mayor Jack Van Rijn.

“These groups are made up of residents who volunteer for the RCMP and act as an extra set of eyes and ears in the community. If something appears to be criminal in nature,
or is unusual, these volunteers will notify local law enforcement and report what they’ve seen or heard.”

Coaldale RCMP is welcoming to the idea with RCMP Staff Sgt Mike Numan,
Commander of the Picture Butte/Coaldale Detachment stating “Alberta RCMP are committed to combining efforts with volunteer associations such as Citizens on Patrol.”

“The contribution of Citizens on Patrol associations to Alberta’s law enforcement is evident, and the dedication of those who volunteer for these groups is reflected through their efforts to help promote crime reduction within our communities. In fact, this is one of the reasons why the RCMP recently adopted the RAVE alert mass notification system,” added Numan.

“This system will enhance communication between the RCMP and these citizen-led groups, both of which share the goal of creating safe communities. I look forward to building on the RCMP’s partnership with Alberta Citizens on Patrol in Coaldale.”

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At the Regular Council Meeting on November 14th, it was brought to light that Coaldale’s crime rate remains comparatively low. According to Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index, in 2021 Coaldale’s score was 44.5, which was lower than neighbouring Taber at 64.4, and significantly lower then Lethbridge at 148.9. The national average was around 100.

Even with the low stats, Council believes that having a low crime severity rate only adds to the case to set up a local Citizens on Patrol.

Those interested in joining a Coaldale-based Citizens on Patrol group and are over the age of 18, can email [email protected] or contact the town office at 403-345-1374.

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