Kneehill County delays request from rural crime watch group

Written by Stu Salkeld

Kneehill County councillors would like more information about a rural crime watch group requesting funds from the municipality. 

The decision was made at the Aug. 18 regular meeting of council.

Councillors read a request from the Hwy 21 Corridor Rural Crime Watch Association, prepared by staff member Carolyn Van der Kuil and presented by county Chief Administrative Officer Mike Haugen.

“Administration received a request from the Hwy 21 Corridor Crime Watch Association requesting a donation,” stated Van der Kuil’s memo.

“The organization operates within the boundaries of the Three Hills RCMP detachment area. Their mandate is to provide public education and information to assist their members in ways to keep themselves and their properties safe.

“Funds would be used to organize public open houses with guest speakers and demonstrations, improving signage along major thoroughfares throughout watch area, developing a Facebook page to keep members informed and up to date on crimes in real-time and to improve their profile in the community by sending out information to media sources to update them on their activities.

“A request amount was not mentioned in the letter, but in follow-up with the organization, they have confirmed that Red Deer County has provided them with $1,000 support. 

The Village of Delburne has also assisted them with admin support. Funds could come from the Recreation Community Arts Culture. There is approximately $8,625 still available in this budget,” added the memo.

Haugen added that since money was already set aside, this request wouldn’t have direct budget impact.

Coun. Ken King asked if the association in question is actually active in Kneehill County.

Deputy Reeve Faye McGhee stated the association has the same boundaries as the Three Hills RCMP detachment and hence are active in Kneehill County.

Coun. Glen Keiver stated he’d like more information about the group. “I’ve never heard of them,” said Keiver. 

McGhee responded the group may be relatively new.

Coun. Jim Hugo also stated he knew little about the group adding the group has never posted crime stats online as they were supposed to do and the association seems to be focussing on the Delburne/Elnora area, communities surrounded by Red Deer County.

Coun. Debbie Penner stated she’d heard the association is just starting up and it would be nice to help them.

Hugo stated the association seems to have been operating for some time, several years, and perhaps it’s just becoming more formal now.

McGhee stated council probably needed more info about the Hwy 21 Corridor Rural Crime Watch Association before making a decision involving funds. She moved to table the request and talk about it at a future meeting after more information was available.

Councillors unanimously agreed to table the request.


Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.