The local block watch program has found its captain but the group is still lacking in volunteers.
In April, Barriere RCMP joined forces with the Barriere Community Consultative group to develop the block watch program. On Thursday, Sept. 26., a meeting was held at the Ridge Town Hall to provide residents with more information and answer any questions in an effort to recruit, new volunteers.
According to Jim Secord, a local resident who volunteered as captain for the block watch said there still aren’t enough people who are interested to cover the areas throughout the jurisdiction. The jurisdiction covers from Heffley Creek to Little Fort.
“Corporal Welsman was looking for volunteers to establish the block watch and assist in getting it going,” said Secord. “So, I said yes.”
Secord said the block watch is not a form of vigilantism but a tool to educate people on how to identify suspicious activity and when to report it.
“It is a tool to keep down crime, violence, bullying, theft and ensuring children’s safety in our area,” said Secord. “I think this town is like any other town. It’s [crime] there and it happens but we are trying to make ourselves more visible. It was initiated by the RCMP as a suggestion for people in the community who care, to come forward and voice their opinions, complaints and suggestions to make the area a better place.”
Secord said there have been previous attempts in the past for a similar group but it fizzled out not long after being established.
“This is a small rural community,” said Secord. “There are a lot of retired people who live here. Those who are retired aren’t as aggressive towards something they might see that is suspicious. When I see something wrong, I think it should be corrected.”
Since April, the group has had trouble finding enough people interested to cover the areas throughout the jurisdiction. It has been a slow start, but Secord said he was hopeful of that changing.
“I think it will eventually happen, we are starting to become heard and there are people who agree with the idea,” said Secord.
The Block Watch Program is a free community-based crime prevention program administered by local RCMP. The program encourages residents on a street or in a neighbourhood form a communication chain, aided by a block map of names, telephone numbers, and addresses.
Those interested make a commitment to watch out for each other’s neighbourhoods and report suspicious activities to the police and to each other. They also keep each other informed about community occurrences such as burglary, thefts, and other crimes or problems occurring in the community.
Secord said he is looking into getting booklets and pamphlets made for residents with more information about the block watch, its purpose and who to contact.
“The block watch won’t happen without the public’s involvement,” said Secord.