Rosebrier Crime Watch president receives Community Justice Award

A well-known farmer, businessman, community advocate and president of the Rosebrier Rural Crime Watch...

Tully Johnson

Tully Johnson

A well-known farmer, businessman, community advocate and president of the Rosebrier Rural Crime Watch is one of this year’s Justice and Solicitor General 25th Annual Alberta Community Justice Award recipients.

Tully Johnson also received the award last year and was blindsided at the recognition this year. “It was just overwhelming.”

Johnson’s daughter nominated him in 2015 for the award and was asked by the nomination committee to resubmit his name in 2016.

During an interview with the Pipestone Flyer Johnson says he was approached by a member of the nomination committee, who told Johnson as soon as he read his biography he became his first pick for the award.

Another woman gushed to Johnson she has read his biography six times. “I was starting to get embarrassed. This plaque I got last year was sufficient enough for me,” said Johnson.

Johnson is a founding member of the Rosebrier Rural Crime Watch, after a farmer/businessman who lived in the area suggested the idea in 1984. Meetings were held at the Rosebrier School, giving the group its moniker.

“At that time we were having all this trouble south of town,” said Johnson.

There was a string of thefts plaguing the community. “It got everybody riled up,” said Johnson.

From the original five board members the Rosebrier Rural Crime Watch has grown to 112 involved families whom Johnson has using the more traditional phone fan-out system. “It’s still the best system there is Everyone has a phone.”

While others are moving more toward the Internet, Johnson says some seniors cannot use the Internet and it is not always easily accessible in rural areas.

Johnson places a focus on a mix of efficiency and intelligence to keep the Rosebrier Rural Crime Watch effective and thriving.

Before any information is released through the crime watch Johnson requires the information to first be reported to the RCMP, to vet out any false claims or misdirection. “They could just run you ragged.”

Johnson names the RCMP as one of the instrumental factors of a healthy crime watch association. “You can’t run a crime watch without RCMP.”

He explains approximately every 10 days or so he pops in on his Wetaskiwin RCMP partners to catch up on any new information and keep the relationship between the two organizations strong.

His efforts in continual communication have resulted in the Rosebrier Rural Crime Watch being given its own RCMP liaison, which Johnson proudly explained he was able to handpick.

Approximately five years ago Johnson was asked to be a part of a round table discussion in Ottawa, regarding crime in rural areas.

Johnson made it clear he felt rural areas needed protection from those who understood the vulnerabilities and lifestyle of those areas. “I ripped the RCMP at that time. I said I would not accept an RCMP (liaison) who did not have an agricultural background.”

“You’ve got to know which end of the cow to feed. It’s the most important thing to me,” he added.

Despite being asked to take on more area over the years Johnson says he’s kept the Rosebrier Rural Crime Watch small to retain a sense of community and efficiency. “Today it’s a necessity to have a rural crime watch.”

Dissolution is an ongoing concern for rural crime watch associations and to help garner more interest Johnson also forged partnerships with Wetaskiwin Victim Services and 4-H clubs.

In 2010 the crime watch group faced low numbers and Johnson asked for one year to grow it back to a healthy state. In 2011 he was elected president of the Rosebrier Rural Crime Watch and was elected to the provincial Rural Crime Watch board of directors in 2012.

“This crime watch has become my thing because people thought I couldn’t get it going,” said Johnson.

 

Just Posted

file photo
UPDATE: Leduc RCMP, Millet Fire Department and more on scene at serious multi-vehicle collision

Traffic is expected to be diverted for several hours and alternative travel routes are recommended.

File photo
Leduc RCMP request assistance to identify armed robbery suspect

Leduc RCMP are searching for suspect involved in an armed robbery at the Leduc Giant Tiger.

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Premier Jason Kenney says the provincial government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

Most Read