By Treena Mielke
The formation of a Citizens on Patrol group in Rimbey is a distinct possibility and the mayor and council are doing their part to ensure such a group gets a green light.
“We looked at the issue (a citizens on patrol group) a couple of months ago during the budgetary process and we do have money in our budget,” said Mayor Rick Pankiw.
The mayor said tough economic times that people are facing presently can be one of the indicators that causes crime to escalate and having such a group in town would help safeguard citizens and assist the RCMP.
Pankiw said the RCMP has been notified about the possibility of a COP group being formed and are very receptive.
Being the eyes and ears for the RCMP is exactly what the mandate of Gull Lake North Citizens on Patrol is all about, said Irene Wegmann, secretary for the society.
Wegmann attended Monday’s council meeting to give councillors an overview of the Gull Lake North Citizens on Patrol.
Incorporated in 2003, the group has been actively conducting patrols in the lake neighborhoods of Poulsen’s Pasture, Sunnyside, Summer Village of Parkland Beach, Poulsen’s Estates, Westlake Estates, Birch Meadows and Birch Bay.
Gull Lake North Citizens on Patrol has 40 members and about 27 active members.
Wegmann said COP use their own vehicles and are self-funded. Binoculars, flashlights, safety vests are available for members.
“We patrol in the safest manner we can,” she said. “It’s all volunteer.”
Following Wegmann’s presentation Jeremy Crossman from GFI Systems talked to council about the company and offered to assist through the use of their technology.
He noted that GFI Systems provides location-based technology solutions that improve, safety, efficiency and productivity.
Use of cellular date networks and a complex reporting algorithm ensure that users have a clear picture of where vehicles are and how drivers are operating at all times.
“This would be a new endeavor for us, but we would like to do whatever we can to assist,” said Crossman. “We would like to provide the equipment.”