BCA encourages citizens to sign up
By Kevin Woodhouse
After more than ten years of inactivity, the Beaconsfield Neighbourhood Watch program is being relaunched due to a citizen initiative spearheaded by BCA administration Marcel Roux and Al Gardner.
Roux, who is now vice-president of the Beaconsfield Citizens Association, worked for years with council to bring back the resident based program and will serve as facilitator between the program and the city.
A new website has been created and members of the new program met last Wednesday afternoon at city hall where Station 1 Commander Richard Thouin welcomed the new initiative.
“There used to be more Neighbourhood Watch programs in the past,” Cdr. Thouin told the assembled that included Councillor Karen Messier, municipal Patrol Captain Doug Hawes and Denis Chabot of Urban Planning. “But over the years, we lost that as people became more independent. I’d like to thank you and all of the citizens who will be taking part and is it very noble what you are doing. It is a very simple notion that we all look out for each other.”
The concept of Neighbourhood Watch is for residents to be the eyes and ears of police and to call either 911 or the municipal patrol to report on crimes or bylaws being broken.
“It is a simple idea that requires no extra money,” Roux said. “People who take part are asked to walk within their territory one hour per month. All you need is a pen, paper and a cellular phone. You can report but there should be no actual intervention or vigilante behaviour.”
The new program will offer several forms for participants, including an incident report should the situation arise.
BCA president Gardner told the assembled that recently he had been walking his dogs and noticed an unknown car parked outside of a neighbour’s residence. Gardner found this suspicious because his neighbour was away. After taking a photograph of the vehicle, the driver noted the flash and drove off.
To date, more than 30 residents have signed up to take part and Gardner was “happy with the turnout so far.”
The new BCA president told The Suburban that the advocacy group will be taking a “different approach with the city and will try to work positively as more of a watchdog role with less confrontation at council meetings.”
To visit the BCA website, log onto www.bca-acb.org. The Neighbourhood Watch website is www.nw-sdq-beaconsfield.org.
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