The Diamond Valley Citizens on Patrol, a local group that spends its time patrolling the streets of Black Diamond and Turner Valley, is asking residents to keep their homes safely locked up.
Diamond Valley Citizens on Patrol president Ian Huffman said the group has only been around for a few years and has been working on providing information on crime prevention.
“We are a group of volunteers and we are trying to keep our community safe and improve our community at the same time,” Huffman said.
This year they are encouraging people to keep their homes safe.
“One of our goals was to bring awareness to the community about home security,” Huffman said. “We are close to a big city and we should always be aware of our surroundings and we should be locking up all of our possessions including our homes and our vehicles.”
Recently the group gave away home-security prize packs in a raffle that included keypad deadbolts, smart doorbells and motion sensor lights. While out selling tickets, they also shared information on ways to keep people and their property safe.
“The pamphlet includes info on locking up your home, if you see a crime report it to 911, all those kinds of things,” he said. “We’ve distributed a thousand of those since this summertime.”
They also drop them off at businesses, Huffman said, because they are another target of property crime.
The pamphlets also have a message that can be used by drivers to help deter would-be thieves.
“[It] says no valuables stored in this vehicle in the hopes that someone won’t bother to smash a window,” he said.
The 16 members of the Diamond Valley Citizens on Patrol also spend evenings driving around Black Diamond and Turner Valley looking for potential crimes or ways to prevent crime.
“We do patrols where you have to have two members in a vehicle and we drive around looking for suspicious vehicles, vehicles that aren’t normally parked in certain places,” said Huffman. “We check for open garage doors and if people are still awake, we will let them know it is open. They seem to really appreciate that. We have also found businesses that have been left unlocked and we let them know.”
Huffman said when they see something that seems suspicious, they let the RCMP know.
“We are an observe-and-report organization only,” he explained.
The 16 volunteer members patrol various days of the week, but Huffman said if they had more members they could be out on the streets every day.
“If I shot for the moon, I’d say it would be great to have 50 people,” he said.