The Lloydminster Neighbourhood Watch will be having its annual general meeting on April 22 at the Grandview Manor at 7 p.m.
At the meeting there will be talk of upcoming elections for positions within the group and Christine Benson, chairperson for the organization, will be delivering her report, the group’s financial report and guest speaker Insp. Suki Manj of the Lloydminster RCMP will deliver a few words.
The elections are an important issue with Neighbourhood Watch because as the years go by, new membership has been shrinking. The group was formed by the RCMP in 1989, but has been struggling to find volunteers lately and Benson said if 20 people show up for the meeting that would be a generous number.
“We really want to get more people on our steering committee. Quite frankly if it doesn’t happen, we’re getting older, we’ve been at this for quite a long time and if other people don’t step forward we might have to fold,” said Benson. “Which would not be a good thing at all. That’s just how it is sometimes.”
She says they can’t figure out the disinterest toward the group, but they think people seem extremely busy and can’t be bothered to commit to a program.
After Manj’s speech at the AGM, there will be a question period followed by Benson’s chairperson report, which will go over some of the activities that have happened over the last year like their potluck dinners, participation in parades and reports put out about local criminal activity.
The Neighbourhood Watch work as a society of volunteers concerned about home security, personal security and preventative work in terms of local crime. They often hand out pamphlets and discuss with citizens the importance of deadbolt locks, securing home windows and security systems in residential areas.
“I think in terms of educating people about security, home security, the other things that we have dealt with are environmental issues,” said Benson. “For example, many neighbourhoods have intersections, so over the years people build fences that are too high or their shrubs grow up and then you come up to the stop sign and you can’t see to the right or left. So we’ve dealt with issues like that.”
Going forward, the RCMP recommended a crime prevention society be formed and Benson said some of the people involved with Neighbourhood Watch are thinking and working on making it happen. The society would act as an umbrella organization that would cover groups like the Neighbourhood Watch, Citizens on Patrol and the drug prevention strategy.