Eyes on Camrose

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“Eyes on Camrose” is a new community awareness program that is designed for you. It is designed for each member of our community because we all play a part in ensuring that our families reside in a safe city.

The program will highlight several different initiatives that enable each us to be involved. Eyes on Camrose encourages awareness. It encourages us to be more aware of our neighborhood; more aware of what is happening on the streets as you are driving, more aware of your surroundings when you are walking from your vehicle to the store, or as you are shopping, at community events or anywhere within our city.

Eyes on Camrose is a community awareness program that involves the community and the police working together to prevent crime. The program encompasses individual initiatives that provide a way for each member of our community to get involved. Most of the initiatives are so simple but can make the difference in what type of community we live in.

Initiative #1

Citizens on Patrol

The first initiative under the program is Citizens on Patrol. COP is a provincial program and the mission of the Alberta Citizens on Patrol Association is to build safer communities by mobilizing citizens to participate in a community based crime prevention initiative. COP is designed for members of a community who want to play a more active role in crime prevention. The Camrose Police Service is excited to have local Citizens on Patrol assisting Police in keeping their Eyes on Camrose.

If volunteering to be a member of the Camrose Citizens on Patrol team is of interest to you then please email CamroseCOPS@gmail.com.

Initiative #2

Social Media

The second initiative under Eyes on Camrose is Social Media. This is perhaps the easiest of all the initiatives because it simply involves you staying in touch with what is happening in your community. By following our Camrose Police Service Facebook and Twitter pages, you will be keeping yourself informed on a variety of Police related topics such as scams that are affecting our community, caught on camera where the Police are requesting the public’s assistance in identifying suspects, interesting investigations where Police had laid serious charges, court decisions on high profile trials as well as community events that Police are involved in. Staying informed will improve your awareness of what you can watch for in your community.

So follow us on Facebook and/or twitter to stay up to date on what is happening in Camrose. But don’t stop there, invite your friends to follow our pages. The safest communities are those where people know about, care about and look out for each other. The more people that are watching, keeping their Eyes on Camrose, will help us prevent crime and help solve crimes that have already occurred. If that’s the type of city you want to live in then “follow us” and remember to invite your friends!

Initiative #3

Curb the Danger

Our third initiative is something that should be familiar to us because it is a program that we implemented in 2011 to assist Police in keeping our streets safe. Curb the Danger is a program that encourages motorists to contact Police if they suspect an impaired driver. Curb the Danger is an existing program and it fits within Eyes on Camrose because it is another tool that the public can use to keep our community safe. Impaired driving continues to be an issue in all communities. We charged 6 people with impaired driving in the last 3 weeks so the issue isn’t going away. With Canada set to legalize marihuana on Oct 17th of this year, Curb the Danger will continue to be a very important program.

Curb the Danger simply encourages motorists to call 911 if they suspect an impaired driver. Some people hesitate to call 911 wondering if it really is an emergency. Impaired driving is a criminal offence in progress which is exactly what 911 should be used for. With the majority of people owning a cell phone, we have so much potential to keep our streets safe.

We encourage people to call 911 and continue following the vehicle as long as you can do so without breaking any traffic violations. Stay on the phone with our dispatch so that they can guide our Police officers to the vehicle. Keep watching the vehicle and describe to our dispatch what the vehicle is doing such as swerving outside their lane, inability to maintain a constant speed, jumping onto curbs etc.

I think people sometimes also hesitate because they aren’t quite sure if the driver is impaired. In many cases they aren’t impaired but we still encourage you to place that Curb the Danger call if you suspect that they might be. Frequently during those traffic stops we might find out that the driver was fatigued, having a medical issue or a reaction to medication. We also come across drivers who are disqualified, driving without insurance or a variety of other Traffic Safety Act violations.

Curb the Danger is an important existing program that we want to reemphasize to the public. It is another example of an Eyes on Camrose initiative where people can contribute to keeping Camrose a safe community.

Initiative #4

Lock It or Lose It

Initiative #4 is Lock It or Lose It. Every person who owns property needs to implement this simple crime prevention technique…. locking their property. The Police all too frequently respond to calls regarding stolen property that could have been prevented if the property had been secured. We continually receive calls regarding vehicles which had been rummaged through overnight and items such as money, CD’s, sunglasses, CPS units, etc. are missing. In the vast majority of cases the vehicle was left unlocked.

Just last week an individual reported that their purse was stolen from their vehicle. The vehicle was left unlocked overnight while parked in front of their residence. A couple days later Police received another call regarding a laptop computer that had been stolen overnight from an unlocked vehicle. A youth reported that his bicycle had been stolen from the bike rack at the swimming pool. The bike was left unlocked. Unlocked garages or sheds are frequently entered resulting in owners missing tools, sporting equipment, and other valuables.

Suspects also enter attached, unlocked garages and they don’t stop there. Once inside the garage they gain access directly into the home through another unlocked door. Recently a suspect entered a home through the unlocked garage and stole jackets from the rear closet. An interesting investigation a few years ago occurred when a homeowner had his truck stolen from inside his attached garage. Police were able to track the suspect’s footprints in the fresh snow. The suspect checked several locked garages (including my own) but never made any attempts to gain entry. He continued for two blocks checking one locked garage door after another until he came across the unlocked garage. Once inside the attached garage he then entered the house where he found the keys for the pick-up truck that was parked inside the garage. The most difficult part of that theft for the suspect was walking two blocks until he found an easy victim.

Initiative #5

Security Camera Registry

Initiative #5 is the Security Camera Registry program. Security cameras are a great way to keep “Eyes on Camrose”. With the affordability of systems and the ease of installation more and more businesses and homeowners are utilizing cameras to monitor their property. Cameras help to prevent crime and captured video can also assist an investigation. Our Police service frequently utilizes video surveillance.

As a way of helping protect your community, initiative #5 is simply asking that you register your system with our Police service. We are mostly interested in cameras that have an exterior view. When we have you system added to our database and if a crime occurs in your area, we could potentially utilize your security video to solve crime.Whether your system is at a business or your residence you can help protect your property and your community by registering your security camera with the Camrose Police Service.

Just one example of a criminal offence that was solved utilizing video surveillance was this winter when a suspect decided that in the middle of the night he was going to steal fuel from two vehicles. The suspect crawled under two pick-up trucks and drilled holes in the tanks. The $25 theft of fuel turned into $2500 in damage to the vehicles. Thankfully, a homeowner had security cameras and Police were able to utilize the video surveillance to both prove the crime and identify the suspect. If that homeowner didn’t have security cameras that crime would likely not have been solved.

You can register your security camera in two ways. You can go to our website @ Camrosepoliceservice.ca and scroll down to the Camrose Police Service Security Camera Registry and complete the on-line form. Another way of registering is to contact Cst. Bauer by phone at 780 672 4444 or email at kbauer@camrose.ca.

By registering your camera you will be taking an active role in crime prevention and investigation. You will be helping your community to keep “Eyes on Camrose”.

Initiative # 6

Business Watch

Initiative #6 is Camrose Business Watch which is a program that allows businesses to simply keep in touch with what type of crime is occurring that affects the business community. For example, if a business is caught with a counterfeit bank note or a certain type of fraud, that information can be shared to the Business Watch group. In sharing that information you can help prevent others from falling victim to the same crime.

If you own a business all you need to do is add your email address to our group Business Watch contact list. To register simply send your email address to kbauer@camrose.ca and indicate that you would like to be added to the Business Watch group. If you have information that you would like to share then use the same email address and those details can then be forwarded to the Business Watch group.

A big part of crime prevention is awareness. Being aware of what types of crimes are occurring in our community so that you can protect yourself or your business. Having that awareness and sharing that information with others is a great way to keep your Eyes on Camrose.

Initiative # 7

Nightly at Nine

Initiative #7 is Nightly at Nine. The Camrose Police Service would like to encourage the community to get into a routine of ensuring that their property is locked every night at 9:00 PM. Thieves prey on unlocked property and by developing a routine where everyone locks their vehicles, bikes, sheds, garages and homes will help deter crime. We need to develop the habit of locking our property. I don’t know how many times I have spoken to a victim of a theft who indicated “I usually lock up but I guess I forgot”.

Every evening at 9:00 PM we should be getting outside and ensuring our property is secure. Perhaps even going one step further and developing a relationship with your next door neighbors and ensuring that their property is also secure.

Thefts range in severity but regardless of the value of the property it still leaves the person feeling victimized. With warmer temperatures we typically see an increase in the number of thefts occurrences. Each of us should develop the habit of locking our property… Nightly at Nine.

“Eyes on Camrose” is a community awareness program launched by the Camrose Police Service that is taking hold in our community. Citizens recognize that everyone can play a part in keeping our community safe. There are many different ways that people can be involved.