Erik Hoehne grew up in Red Deer and is more concerned with crime than ever before.
The fourth-year Red Deer College plumbing student was one of the approximately 30 people who attended the second of six public meetings on crime and community safety at RDC on Tuesday.
“I’ve grown up in Red Deer and I think it is kind of troubling to see the way things are going with crime,” said Hoehne, 25.
“I have a daughter and another child on the way. I want to see them grow up in an environment that’s safe. They should have the liberties I had growing up in Red Deer.
“Red Deer definitely had a small-town feel to it – it still does to some degree. But back then, my mom was comfortable letting us rip around on our bikes all throughout town.
“Now, thinking about that, I don’t know if I’d let my kids do that as freely, because there is such a rise in crime.”
Hoehne, who lives in Oriole Park, said he hasn’t really discussed crime concerns with other RDC students. He wasn’t able to attend the entire event Tuesday due to a conflicting schedule with class, but he said he’s glad the city is trying to tackle crime.
“It’s good to see the city is taking initiative to ask residents what they want to do about it and trying to find some solutions,” he said.
City manager Allan Seabrooke said it’s important to get young people’s opinions on crime in the community.
“I think they have a vested interest in these things and we need to hear what their opinions are,” Seabrooke said.
“The future is for our young people. It’s those future generations that we need to protect and look out for. If we allow our community to be adversely affected … that’s going to impact the city of the future.”
While not many RDC students attended Tuesday’s event, the city will seek feedback from those attending the post-secondary institution, Seabrooke said.
“We will be reaching out to Red Deer College … because although we have these six formal meetings, we’ll be following up with some other advocacy and information sharing to get some solutions back from other organizations and sectors.
“We’ll engage some students, some of the classes they’re involved in that have a relationship to crime and community safety, to get their opinions as well,” he said.
There are four more Red Deer crime meetings: Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. at the Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at Eastview Middle School, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Middle School and Nov. 15 at 10 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel.