Two town strategies to fight crime
Mayor says current economic downturn is fuelling theft
Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 06:00 am
TOWN OF OLDS
The Town of Olds is going to undertake two strategies to reduce crime in the community this year, according to Mayor Judy Dahl.
One is to create a strategy on how the town can work with the Olds Community Policing Advisory Society to deal with crime “more efficiently.”
The second is to recruit more people to serve on the volunteer crime monitoring and reporting group Citizens On Patrol (COP).
“With the downturn in the economy, municipalities are getting hit hard with theft; theft in every way, shape and form. And this includes the region as well,” Dahl says.
“So what the Town of Olds is prepared to do is work with the police advisory society to build a municipal strategy. What is their purpose? What are the key values for the community and really try and pull together the resources of the RCMP.
“I mean, right now there are such great people there. There are RCMP, peace officers, there are sheriffs, highway patrol, county representatives, Citizens On Patrol. It’s just such an extremely valuable resource of people who sit on there,” she adds.
“We need to be more efficient on the vision so the Town of Olds is going to be working to try and facilitate that.”
In the case of COP, Dahl says the town is going to undertake “a huge recruitment drive.”
She says thefts are going to be an issue, especially thanks to the current downturn in the economy.
“I don’t think our condition that we’re in today of job losses is going to change in the near future. It’ll take us a couple of years to recover from that,” Dahl says.
“You’re going to have people coming and going and trying to find any way they can to make money, so we’re going to pull up our resources there and try and get our community more involved.”
Dahl says that recruitment drive is going to involve more than simply an advertising campaign.
“It’s going to be reaching out to the public and recruiting. It’s going to be a recruiting drive, which means education and time commitment from people who say ‘yes,’” Dahl says.
“I know we have a strong base of people who would really like to help. It’s just that, you know, you really do have to ask people.
“A lot of times they don’t feel like they are invited unless you look at them and say, ‘we need your help.’ It’s the truth; it’s the way it works.
“And that’s through experience. Because when I started asking people why they don’t volunteer for the town they said, ‘well, no one’s ever asked me,’” Dahl adds.