Crime watch honours diligent efforts

Two elementary students from Rimbey Christian School will have their winning photos from the rural crime watch’s contest

Students at Rimbey Christian School

Students at Rimbey Christian School

Two elementary students from Rimbey Christian School will have their winning photos from the rural crime watch’s contest sent to the provincial rural crime watch’s calendar.

It was announced at the Feb 13, Rimbey and District Rural Crime Watch meeting that winners Tenley Buwalda, Grade 1, and Leiah Dolman, Grade 2, were presented with backpacks by Sgt. Mark Groves.

Rimbey’s RCMP is now up to seven members, and by summer there will be eight as another is relocating from Fort McMurray, said Groves.

Const. Matthew Benz will also be leaving soon for a new posting out of Rainbow Lake.

Groves took extra time to share his appreciation to Ponoka County Coun. Keith Beebe and the other councillors who funded another member on the force last year when the detachment was in “dire straits.”

“We could not get any more policemen here on the ground in Rimbey,” said Groves. “Keith ensured an extra member budget by the county.”

Having that extra member is a relief to Groves because break-ins, theft and methamphetamine crimes are on the rise in the area.

He is concerned meth abuse trends seen in Turner Valley would make their way to Rimbey.

“I really didn’t want to see that come to Rimbey.”

Groves says although a few people related to such activities have been persuaded to leave the area, there are still two or three yet to go.

There was even a motorcycle left recently that is believed to be related to meth.

Groves is also grateful of the extra member because the RCMP deals with approximately 45 to 50 calls investigated as crimes each week. That doesn’t include calls fielded at the front desk.

Ponoka County’s newest peace officer, Les Squires, a former Mountie of 37 years, also spoke about his role in revamping the County Police Officer Program. “Ponoka County was actually one of the last counties to have a program along the (Highway) 2 corridor.”

Although his powers are more limited than the RCMP’s, Squires is able to enforce laws such as the Animal Protection Act, the Environmental Protection Act, the Litter Act, the Game and Safety Act and the Traffic Safety Act.

Watch member Chris Simpson also presented the financial report, as it stood Dec. 31, 2012.

The cash amount is $3,004 and capital assets are sitting at $3,484. “Those capital assets are your computer equipment purchased in the past,” said Simpson.

Simpson also said the $3,484 is slightly overstated because computer equipment loses some of its value after being purchased.

As opposed to previous years, the RCMP is also now covering the watch’s telephone, fax and Internet costs.

At the meeting the crime watch also gained three new members: Geri Daciuk, Harold Janke and Cheryl Scheie.