LPS working to get Watch Patrollers on the ground
The Lethbridge Police Service is proud to announce The Watch will begin patrolling downtown streets this spring.
The Watch, one of two new initiatives approved by City Council to enhance public safety downtown, is modeled after a similar program in Winnipeg and will see Watch Patrollers deployed seven days a week throughout the year. Recognizable by their red shirts, Watch Patrollers will be on foot and serve as eyes and ears to connect citizens with the appropriate response from police, EMS or social and community services.
The Watch will consist primarily of community volunteers and is aimed at being reflective of the diversity of Lethbridge. The goal of The Watch is to provide an additional layer of safety to citizens by offering services such as safe walks and discouraging negative use through public visibility, de-escalation tactics and real time communication to the appropriate emergency services.
“The Watch volunteers will be exposed to many aspects of our city. They will be eyes and ears for the police but also a conduit to other services that will enhance safety and community wellness such as EMS or social services,” said Chief Rob Davis. “We hope to attract citizens who want to give back to the city. Serving with The Watch will also be an outstanding opportunity for students who want to test drive a career in policing or social services but are still unsure of what exactly they want to do or what they’ll be exposed to. The Watch is going to provide that exposure and potentially some great resume experience. If The Watch leads to a career in law enforcement, emergency medical services, social services, addictions counselling – you name it – it is a win-win for the community as a whole.”
The Watch has been embraced by members of the Downtown Business Revitalization Zone and Chamber of Commerce and LPS is proud to work in partnership with both agencies to get the program up and running as quickly as possible.
The first step is to hire a civilian manager followed by a recruiting drive to attract volunteers.
“We aren’t wasting any time getting this program off the ground,” said Davis. “We anticipate having the volunteers trained and ready to hit the street by mid-April.”
The manager posting is currently listed at www.lethbridge.ca/careers and submissions will be accepted until Feb. 8. The Watch Manager will be responsible for the administration of the program and supervision of the volunteers.
A recruiting drive for Watch volunteers is set to commence in mid-February.
Anyone interested in volunteering for The Watch is encouraged to follow LPS on social media - Facebook and Twitter - as well as www.lethbridgepolice.ca. Recruiting information for The Watch will be posted when available.
**Chief Rob Davis, along with members of the Downtown Business Revitalization Zone and Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, will be available for media interviews today at 1 p.m. at the police station.**