REGINA – In an effort to curb some of the problems facing North Central, a local group has been planning to start street patrols in the community.
On June 17, volunteers with White Pony Lodge will travel in visible groups, looking to resolve issues and disputes before they escalate out of hand.
“We’re not going in as enforcers, we’re coming in to our community as supporters,” White Pony Lodge co-founder, Shawna Oochoo said.
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“There are activities out there that will lessen when people know that there are other people out watching,” street patrol leader Spurgeon Root said.
It is a strategy adopted from another similar group based in Winnipeg. James Favel and his Bear Clan street patrol have operated on Winnipeg streets for the past year.
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“Whatever needs there are in the community, we’re trying to address them,” said Favel.
Last month, White Pony Lodge travelled to Manitoba to participate in one of their patrols, taking home a copy of their procedures and protocols.
Ward 6 councillor, Wade Murray, hasn’t been in contact with the group, but fully supports a boots on the ground approach.
“You’re disrupting criminal activity, you’re making it harder to exist,” Murray explained.
“Having people on the street, having people out there who are visible, who are seen, [that will] change the activity around them.”
White Pony Lodge has also held preliminary discussions with Regina police and plan on maintaining a positive relationship, but say it is their responsibility as community members to solve problems before police need to be involved.