Citizens of Lacombe have been taking great strides to bring safety to the community and are now getting closer in finalizing the details for the Lacombe Community Watch Association.
The Lacombe Community Watch Association (LCWA) is comprised of three groups – Neighbourhood Watch, Citizens on Patrol and Block Parent. The main purpose of this Association is to engage citizen responsiveness to crime prevention and to bring neighbours together in the effort of keeping the communities safe.
“I feel really good. Every time we have a meeting, we’ve progressed. We’re just steadily moving forward,” said Ed L’Ecluse.
“We have dedicated volunteers that range from professionals, to tradesmen, to stay-at-home moms. We’ve got people from every corner of Lacombe, basically, and I feel really good about the fact that we are going to do everything we set out to do.”
The programs included in the Association have been pledged the support of the Lacombe Police Service. Each person wanting to join the group must sign the application at the police station, where members of the LPS will witness the signature.
For all applications to the Lacombe Community Watch Association, criminal record checks are made mandatory for each person in the household over 12-years-old. Simply specify at the Lacombe Police Station which group or groups you’d like to apply for.
With the Block Parent program, the LCWA has taken extra measures to ensure the safety and qualifications of the applicants. As such, not all applicants will be granted Block Parent status.
“With Block Parent, we are allowing people to bring children into their homes. We have to be so careful, and those are going to be very thorough inspections – more so than most communities because we are setting our own standards,” L’Ecluse said.
“Each person over 12 in the household has to get a criminal record check, and there will be in-home interviews. There will be an interview in their house with Constable Bleasedale, and our-vice president Debbie Galant, who has a criminology degree. They will go get a feel for the person in their home.”
In a previous meeting between the LCWA and Police Chief Steve Murray, the attendees and chief agreed the Lacombe Community Watch Association is not an action group. They are merely a group that has pledged their efforts to be more mindful and community-minded in terms of deterring illegal activity and promoting child safety.
Right now, the group is working to achieve non-profit status so that they may fundraise for information brochures and signage for the Association programs.
“We have to form as a non-profit society so that we can do fundraising, which we need for street signs, information brochures – all of that. We need $1,200 for eight street signs that say ‘Citizens on Patrol are watching this area’, and we can put up these clapboard signs, and that’ll help with our exposure. That’s $1,200 right there. We want to make up brochures for designs and printing, and that costs money,” L’Ecluse explained.
“It only took Blackfalds a month roughly before they started, and had signs in the windows, so that was really encouraging to hear. I’ve got an amazing board that I have so much faith in. This is a very dedicated group of people who genuinely want to be a part of it.”
For more information on the group, follow the Lacombe Community Watch Association, Taking Back Lacombe facebook page and go to the Lacombe Police Station to fill out an application.