Thirty years ago, Dick Foesier heard three gun shots fired at the end of his driveway.
When he went to investigate he found two dead elk and a red half-ton truck driving away.
It was Foesier’s first year being part of the area’s rural crime watch.
“I phoned the game warden in Red Deer and they come out and sat in my driveway all night until about 4 a.m. Sure enough the guys who shot the elk came back down the road real slow and drove into the field. With their headlights out, the game wardens went after them and caught them,” said Foesier, of Raven located west of Innisfail on Hwy 54.
Though being with the rural crime watch for many years, that incident early on still brings a smile to the 72-year-old’s face.
Thirty years later, he was honoured by the Innisfail RCMP for his three decades of fighting crime. He was awarded a certificate of appreciation for volunteer services for his involvement in rural crime watch.
“It caught me by surprise,” laughed Foesier. “I didn’t know anything about it and didn’t realize it had been 30 years. It brought a tear to my eye.”
Staff Sgt. Chris Matechuk has built a strong relationship with Foesier over the years and was honoured to hand out the award.
“It seems like he’s been doing it forever. He’s the founder of rural crime watch in the area and has been doing it without any need for recognition. He cares only about helping people and supporting the community and police.”
Foesier got involved with rural crime watch due in large part of the problems they had with hunters in the area.
“People were hunting on everybody’s land and shooting across roads not giving a hoot about anybody. A few of us in the area got together to see if we could to something about it and we did,” said Foesier.
These days it’s no longer the hunters who are causing the problems in the area.
“Now there’s so much other crimes happening around here. With all the break and enters and vehicle thefts around here it feels like crime has multiplied and it’s kept us busier than ever,” said Foesier.
Matechuk is a firm believer that policing is only as effective as the support they get from the community and will continue to work with Foesier and the rural crime watch team to ensure the public’s safety.