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Video surveillance could combat crime in the High Country

The Turner Valley detachment is considering working with local residents and businesses to fight crime through the CAPTURE program, which launched in Red Deer last summer.
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TV RCMP Staff Sgt. Laura Akitt 7913
Turner Valley RCMP Staff Sgt. Laura Akitt said the detachment is looking into implementing Red Deer's CAPTURE program to help fight crime. (BRENT CALVER/Western Wheel)

High Country residents and businesses with security cameras could play a role in fighting crime.

Turner Valley’s RCMP detachment is exploring the possibility of introducing a program to the area that’s been helping Red Deer RCMP fight crime for almost a year. Launched last summer, Red Deer’s Community Assisted Policing Through Use of Recorded Evidence (CAPTURE) program enables businesses and residents to register their security cameras with the RCMP to assist them with their investigations.

Turner Valley RCMP Staff Sgt. Laura Akitt said the detachment plans to learn more about CAPTURE with hopes to implement it in the region.

“For us moving forward it is definitely a program or something that we think could be beneficial within the community and it is something that we will be looking at further on in the coming months,” she said. “It’s not a priority right now, but it’s definitely a program that we will be educating ourselves on more to see how we could possibly make that roll out within the community. I do believe there is merit to the program. I think it has benefits to not only the residential community but possibly the rural communities as well.”

At Town council’s March 16 meeting, Mayor Barry Crane requested a notice of motion to explore bringing the program to the community.

“I brought this forward to council for consideration because we have seen, in the last few years, criminals come into our towns from Calgary and rummage through our vehicles and break into our garages,” he told council. “We need to armour ourselves against criminals of this nature.”

Crane explained that if CAPTURE is implemented, people with surveillance cameras can register with the program to give RCMP access to their surveillance cameras for the purpose of investigating crimes.

“It then becomes evidence they can use to prosecute,” he said. “That is a very powerful tool and also becomes a tracker. If there are enough people that voluntarily buy into the program the RCMP can track into the neighbourhood, which gives them evidence at every turn. It’s a 100 per cent RCMP initiative. What I’m looking for is us to endorse it to go to the RMCP.”

Crane said if it becomes common knowledge that Black Diamond, Turner Valley, Longview, Millarville and other nearby communities are participating in the CAPTURE program, it could deter criminals.

“This is going to help our Citizens on Patrol as well,” he said. “It adds that entire bracket of safety.”

Coun. Jamie Wilkie told council he supports the idea of having the Turner Valley RCMP bring CAPTURE to the community.

“It makes a huge amount of sense to me,” he said. “It’s a great use of information to help police do their job. We have car prowlings all the time. It’s a huge resource to have.”

Throughout March, Turner Valley RCMP are inviting the public to fill out an online survey to determine policing needs in the region before moving ahead with this year’s annual performance plan. The survey, available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VKVPLBR, closes on March 31.

The RCMP have postponed next week’s town hall meeting to follow provincial regulations around social distancing in light of COVID-19.

Tammy Rollie, OkotoksToday.ca




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Tammy Rollie

About the Author: Tammy Rollie

Tammy Rollie is a staff reporter at OkotoksToday.ca and the Western Wheel newspaper, focusing on Wheel's West, local arts and culture and entertainment. For story tips contact trollie@okotoks.greatwest.ca
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