Morinville Seniors Engage in Community Policing Dialogue at Coffee with a Cop Event

Above: About two dozen area residents came out for the second Coffee with a Cop session, held Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Morinville Rendez-Vous Centre. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

by Stephen Dafoe

From left: Acting Staff Sergeant Lew Simms talks with Morinville residents Gary and Noreen Radford after the Feb. 15 event. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

The Morinville RCMP Detachment wanted to hear from local seniors, and about two dozen came out to the Morinville Rednez-Vous Centre on Thursday, Feb. 15, to speak with Acting Staff Sergeant Lew Simms.

The Detachment’s second Coffee with a Cop event allowed residents to drop by for a coffee and an informal chat to share questions, concerns and thoughts on policing in the community.

The group asked Simms about various concerns, including the adequacy of police coverage in the community, traffic concerns, speed limits, fraud prevention, crosswalks, and aggressive dogs, among other topics.

Simms also conveyed a wealth of policing info, including the value of Restorative Justice programs and Fraud Prevention education, the latter of which he plans to present to the Rendez-Vous members later. 

Of particular interest to many attendees was information on how they could safeguard themselves against crime. To that end, Simms provided information on the Alberta Rural Crime Watch Association’s RAVE, a web-based communication platform RCMP members use to give real-time alerts to Alberta community members.

“This is a very effective program because it goes out in real-time,” Simms said, noting that as of that time, approximately 471 people in Morinville and Sturgeon County signed up to receive the real-time alerts. 

The alerts, which are both operational and educational, could include “be on the lookout for (BOLO) alerts, crime prevention, victim services, and district crime activity reports. The alerts are sent by email, text message or phone call, selected by the user at the time of sign-up. Those interested in RAVE can sign up at 

Sgt. Simms also recommended the Alberta RCMP app, which includes a map with crime hot spot maps to let area residents know of criminal activity in the area. 

“If you see [a symbol] with a bandit, with a mask on, it means there has been a break-and-enter in your area,” Simms explained. “The maps are updated. Where does the data come from? It comes from reported crimes.”

The Detachment held the first Coffee with a Cop event last November in the evening and drew a handful of participants. 

Community and Infrastructure Services General Manager Sharleen Edwards said she was pleased with the Feb. 15 turnout. 

“I think they were really honest with our Detachment Commander about what they want to see,” Edwards said of the participants. “I think he [Simms] did a great job just informing our community about some basic policing techniques and things that they use. This [event] was a great start to see engagement between our residents and our RCMP.”

Morinville Rendez-Vous Centre Vice President Mike Dubas was also pleased with the event and said it was a good opportunity for seniors to connect with the RCMP.

“A lot of them feel the communication between our senior group and police—there wasn’t that interaction,” Dubas said. “Today, there was a lot of interaction going on, and they were able to express themselves about some of the concerns they have. I think that was the big thing—that they know that the police department is there for them.”

Acting Staff Sergeant Lew Simms was also pleased with the input and the opportunity to share information. “It gives us input from the community and is also a chance for us to come together and to speak on various topics to let the community know what the police are doing.”

The RCMP and Town plan to do three events per year. The next event, scheduled for sometime in April, is called Pop with a Cop and aims to get feedback from the community’s youth.

“The youth in our community also play an important role,” Simms said. “It’s that interaction with the youth of our community and getting those connections. I think it is a great opportunity for us to come out.”

Approximately two dozen area residents came out for the second Coffee with a Cop session on Feb. 15, asking Acting Staff Sergeant Lew Simms various questions about policing in the community. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

Morinville Mayor Simon Boersma joined Acting Staff Sergeant Lew Simms in the informal Feb. 15 Coffee with a Cop session. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

Print Friendly, PDF & Email