Mission: Grande Prairie District Rural Crime Watch Association works collaboratively with law enforcement to prevent crime through education, information and presence in rural communities.
Purpose: Grande Prairie District Rural Crime Watch Association is proactive in rural crime prevention through meetings and information sessions throughout the County. Members are encouraged to be an extra set of eyes and ears for law enforcement, reporting suspicious activities which can deter, prevent or stop criminal activity.
The Grande Prairie District Rural Crime Watch Association (GPDRCWA) started in 1983 and is a member of the Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch Association.
The association’s mission is to work collaboratively with law enforcement to prevent crime through education, information and presence in rural communities. The group collaborates with local RCMP, County Enforcement, Fish & Wildlife and other crime prevention agencies they assist community residents in who to contact in certain situations. Areas served by the GPDRCWA are parts of the County of Grande Prairie and MD of Greenview with close working relationships with neighbouring associations Beaverlodge and Grovedale.
GPDRCWA Vice President Mary Fisher and Membership Director Sharon Kimble best describes the association as “Neighbours helping Neighbours.” They feel that residents are an extra set of “eyes and ears” for law enforcement by reporting suspicious activity, the group can reach the goal of making rural communities a safer place to live.
To help members be proactive in rural crime prevention, the agency offers Crime Watch signage for member properties and an automated fan out phone calling system to inform them of suspicious or criminal activity in their area or any other valuable information. For example, if there is a robbery in a specific area RCMP and Crime Watch when contacted, can, in turn, contact members through the fan-out system so; they are aware of the situation and can be more diligent in watching in their area. When the RCMP is aware of rural hot spots, they can increase patrols in those areas. Increased RCMP presence usually equates to less crime.
The volunteer-run organization has a great mix of new and more experienced members leading to new and innovative ideas. Some volunteers have been members for 1 or 4 years. While; others have been there between 15 to 30 years. All have a vote and option to be elected to the board if they so choose. The organization’s Annual General Meeting; is usually held mid-April but due to COVID-19 and to comply with AHS safety regulation this year’s AGM will be held June 23rd, 2021.
The association has not been as active with in-person events as they once were due to COVID-19, but with restrictions easing, they look forward to being part of the Rural Grande Prairie community once again.
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