Police presence appreciated downtown

I would like to personally thank the two RCMP members who were patrolling the downtown beat by foot on Friday, Oct. 2, at around 4:40 p.m., in front of the TD Canada Trust bank.

I would like to personally thank the two RCMP members who were patrolling the downtown beat by foot on Friday, Oct. 2, at around 4:40 p.m., in front of the TD Canada Trust bank.

I am a single, professional woman who works in a downtown office and several times these guardian angels have watched my back.

They came to my aid when I had a young guy hitting on me this particular day. One other day you walked with me across the street. I feel so good when you are there. I cannot explain the feelings of happiness and relief when I see you. I am really happy to see you.

I feel very safe when you are there. I walk to and from work sometimes, and I feel it is not very safe after 4:30 p.m.

Several times when I have waited for a taxi outside of my office, only for a couple of minutes, I have been approached by johns. It scared me. I now wait inside. I have had male panhandlers in my face, crack addicts trying to start up conversations and guys hitting on me.

I have seen prostitutes, men fighting, vomit and broken glass all over the sidewalks. Red Deer never used to be like this. Downtown’s spirit is broken, and the only way to fix it is more police that walk the beat.

The work that many social agencies do is commendable. However, if all the agencies that help the homeless, addicts, mentally ill and those just released from prison are all located in downtown Red Deer, then we must be vigilant and aware of both the good and the bad.

Nobody wants these agencies in residential areas. This is a reality.

Every day our Red Deer RCMP members are pushed to their limits. They continue to deliver stellar service to the community they serve. They seldom get the credit and thanks that they deserve.

I feel extremely honoured and lucky to be helped by two of the RCMP’s best, who clean up after the worst.

You are my light in the darkness as I travel from my office to try to get home safely.

Virginia Knight

Red Deer

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