Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch set to celebrate 30 years of being a watchful eye

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch has offered RCMP an extra set of eyes for the past three decades. The volunteer group will celebrate their 30th anniversary with a special dinner and celebration at the Rendez-Vous Centre May 4.

The association’s focus and energy over the last three decades has been that of making the towns, villages, hamlets, subdivisions and rural areas within Sturgeon County safe. Doing that has involved a long line of community volunteers who have taken the stand that mischief-makers are simply not welcome. Through signs identifying communities as under the eyes and ears of Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch and through the vigilance of their many members, the group tries to keep both RCMP and Sturgeon County Protective Services (SCPS) informed.

“We are additional eyes and ears throughout the County,” said Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch Association President Roger Nykipilo. “We notify the RCMP or the SCPS whenever we see suspicious activity in our neighbourhoods. If the RCMP alert us that certain equipment or vehicles have been stolen, we keep our eyes open for that, too.”

New members welcome

A lifetime membership costs $20 and is open to both Sturgeon County residents and those who live in the towns and hamlets within. The association has in excess of 700 members but Nykipilo said the group welcomes new members. “The more people that are involved, the more effective we can become,” he said.

The organization keeps members aware of what is happening in the region in terms of criminal activities through an auto-dialling system that sends out phone messages to members. Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch also send those fan-out alerts by e-mail.

In addition to receiving regular information of interest to public safety and to keep residents informed, membership includes a wealth of brochures and pamphlets on safety, auto theft and other crime prevention knowledge. Members also receive a Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch sign to use on their property.

Those interested in becoming a member can obtain the application form online at The completed form can be dropped off at the Morinville RCMP Detachment. The group meets every other Tuesday at the Provincial Building in Morinville. Attendance at meetings is not a condition of membership, but all meetings are open to members and the general public.

Special evening planned

To celebrate 30 years of watching over County communities, the association will hold a dinner and volunteer awards ceremony May 4 at the Rendez-Vous Centre (9913 – 104 Street).

The event will start with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. and a dinner and silent auction at 6:30 p.m. Dress is business casual. Tickets are $30 per person and are available at Hunters Print & Copy in Morinville or by calling Roger Nykipilo at 780-691-1511.

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