Rosebrier Range Patrol and Crime Watch was started in October, 1984 with a five member executive to cover the S.E. portion of division 1 in the County of Wetaskiwin, bordering on Ponoka, Camrose, Highway13 and Wetaskiwin. The local organization is a member of the Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch Association that strives to promote rural crime prevention through communication, programs and fundraising.
Three board members, Denis Thirsk, Don Graff and Tully Johnson were recognized at the Association’s AGM for providing the Rosebrier Crime Watch with 30 years of service.
Tully Johnson, president, noted the interest in the Rural Crime Watch took a significant spike in importance following a rash of break-ins and thefts in the region a few years ago and has been active since. “We now have a 10 member executive and 113 active families as members. The Rosebrier 4-H Beef Club is also involved. People phone and want to join but many don’t know really what Crime Watch consists of so that’s another thing we got to explain to them. That we are the eyes and the ears of the RCMP.”
Some key objectives of Crime Watch include assisting with improving community awareness with regard to crime prevention, promoting crime prevention through the sharing of information regarding techniques, products and ideas, interacting and sharing information with other crime watch/prevention groups within the Province of Alberta and revitalizing old Rural Crime Watches and establishing new Rural Crime Watch Associations. Rural Crime Watch studies problems of concern to rural areas of the province such as, but not limited to the prevention of crime, the investigation of incidents and the judicial system.
The RCMP acknowledge the value of participation of the local residents and stressed the importance of taking more caution. “Take your keys out of vehicles and equipment, lock them, don’t provide easy access to contents such as tools and other items that are easy to pawn, leave your lights on at night and don’t leave guns in barns even if they are in locked cabinets.”
Tully is also a director for Zone 2 on the provincial board. Having served for four and a half years, he was recognized by the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General for Community Justice Award nomination.
Residents can join the Rural Crime Watch by contacting Tully at 780-352-0612 or go to the Wetaskiwin RCMP detachment and fill out an application form. For a $20 membership fee, residents receive a gate sign and a numbered identification card that coincides with their application that has been approved and recorded by the RCMP.