We are setting up a 'Neighbourhood Watch' program and we need your help!
My family is fairly new to our community and we are so happy to have landed in such an amazing neighborhood. We are constantly reminded of this through the kindness of our neighbours; from the couple that delivered treats to our door in lieu of trick or treating during Covid, to our children playing in the yard with new friends, to the great new couple that sang Christmas carols to our family in -20 below, to the daily interactions of people stopping on walks to exchange pleasantries. We are so lucky!
We were recently shocked to hear the news of someone trying to lure children at Steinhauer school, and the nightly crimes of opportunity that seem to be more commonplace. As a father to a young family, this news did not sit well with me. I was more than happy to sign up with Dave Long as volunteers with EPS and The Edmonton Neighbourhood Watch Program Society to see if there is anything that we, as a community, can do to reduce the crime and make our neighborhood an unwelcome space to predators. At the February 9, 2021 Ermineskin Community League Board meeting, the board approved a motion that I, Neil Thompson, and David Long would become Neighbourhood Watch Ambassadors.
How can we make our community safer you ask? We asked the same question and Kent McMullin, our Community League President, put Dave and me in contact with the 'Knowsy Neighbours' program Director in Aspen Gardens. One of the Founders shed some insight into successful strategies that their community has put in place to reduce the crimes of opportunity, making their community safer. In 2008, the communities of Aspen Gardens and Westbrook were rocked by the vicious attack and rape of one of their elderly members! This was a watershed moment and galvanized their community around the issue of domestic crime. Since then the 'Knowsy Neighbours' program has been a leader within the city in crime prevention and community connection ever since.
Here are some great takeaways that we got from our conversation with Aspen Gardens:
1) Foster community connection - Know your eight neighbours around you.
2) Have block meetings (when it is safe to do so) - Exchange phone numbers & email addresses so that you can contact each other in an emergency. Know the local kids; become friendlier to one another.
3) Remove the opportunity for crime - lock your vehicles and homes to deter potential criminals.
We are asking for your involvement in our fledgling program to make it a success. We need individuals to volunteer their time to help provide education, and to share ideas and programs that focus on crime prevention.
Please contact us (David Long or Neil Thompson) at: firstname.lastname@example.org or please join us on the Facebook group: Ermineskin - Steinhauer Neighborhood Watch or contact the Community League office by phone 780-438-6623.
We want to create a space that highlights everything that is great about our neighbourhood and not a negative sentiment echo chamber.
Let’s make this a positive space for community building!
Register now - your Bike, Chariot, Stroller etc.