Red Deer County is joining forces with other municipalities nationwide to find ways to combat crime.
Council voted to join the Canadian Municipal Network of Crime Prevention, an organization comprised of communities ranging in size from Toronto and Vancouver to Brantford, Ont., and Williams Lake, B.C.
The annual membership is $500.
The organization’s goal is to mobilize municipalities to tackle crime by sharing information about what has worked in various communities.
Efforts to find ways to reduce crime go beyond the police and justice systems. Communities also look at how schools, housing, health systems, youth and social services and other parts of society can play a role in making communities safer.
Coun. Jean Bota, who is president of the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association, encouraged her council colleagues to become a member of the Canadian crime prevention network, which has nearly 30 municipal members.
The network is one of the partners in a unique two-year pilot project in Alberta. The goal of the Alberta Rural Crime Prevention Framework is to take a look at all aspects of rural crime, from cause through prevention, to find better ways to tackle what has become one of the most pressing issues for many rural communities and property owners.
The pilot project will be rolled out in Sunchild First Nation, northwest of Rocky Mountain House; Lac La Biche and Athabasca counties; the City of Wetaskiwin; the towns of Athabasca and Peace River; Beiseker and Calling Lake.
Bota said the network seeks out ways to reduce crime that can be backed up by evidence.
“Crime, to me, is broken systems and broken institutions and, sometimes, broken individuals,” she said in council on Tuesday, where a motion to join the network got unanimous support.
“At this point, I’ve seen no evidence that more policing solves the problem.”
Coun. Christine Moore said she supports the county’s involvement.
“I think it’s very important we’re at the table nationally,” she said.
Council nominated Bota to be the county’s representative on the network for the next year.