June 22nd, 2024

Coaldale seeking volunteers for Citizens on Patrol chapter

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on November 29, 2022.

The Town of Coaldale is looking for volunteers to help establish a local Citizens on Patrol group.

Working in conjunction with local RCMP, volunteers will help keep watch over the streets and neighbourhoods of Coaldale improving safety and community aid.

In the town’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan council identified public safety as a key priority and is looking to focus on ensuring a strong collaboration between the Town’s Community Peace Officer Program and the RCMP, while empowering residents to provide a contribution to help with local law enforcement.

Through a crime severity index, Coaldale’s rate remains comparatively low. Town council hopes with the help of a Citizens on Patrol group, they can maintain that index without spending extra money on policing costs. Coaldale’s CSI score ranking is 44.5, 65.5 lower than the national average of 100.

“We’ve been trying to think of cost-effective ways to enhance public safety. We think setting up a Coaldale-based Citizens on Patrol group is one of those ways and will further our efforts as a council to put Coaldale on the map as a safe place to live and raise a family,” said mayor Jack Van Rijn

Volunteers will work with local RCMP to help patrol the town and maintain a vigilant eye. “As a volunteer group, they would be trained by Citizens on Patrol, taking a course, and have to be a minimum of 18 years old with a criminal background check,” said Van Rijn. “What it looks like is two people are on the clock at one time checking in with local RCMP letting them know they are on patrol. They would patrol and look for suspicious activity and make a notation of what is going on and report information to the RCMP. Volunteers are not allowed to get out of their vehicle and they are only there to observe as a second set of eyes and ears to what is going on in the community.”

Those looking to join can email tom.anderson@coaldale.ca or contact the Town office at 403-345-1374.

“We need to register with the provincial Citizens on Patrol organization, and we want to make sure that there is public interest in Coaldale,” said Van Rijn.

“We like to call ourselves a safe community, but this is just another tool in the toolbox to get messaging out,” said Van Rijn. “We are out here looking and paying attention and watching what is going on.”

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