Last month, the Town of Chestermere received the Minister’s Award for Municipal Excellence for the creation, work, and success of the Chestermere Crime Reduction Partnership (CCRP) Program. The joint program between the Town and RCMP was created to encourage at-risk youth to avoid crime and develop healthy relationships.
“We thank Municipal Affairs for the wonderful award” said Mayor Patricia Matthews. “For Chestermere, recognition of this kind shows how the partnerships we’ve formed are so critical to the success of our community.”
The CCRP began in 2009 after the Town and RCMP noticed an increase in serious youth crime in Chestermere. Following discussions and consultation on how to best approach the problem, the Town applied for and received Safe Communities funding to hire a full time Social Worker who was partnered with a member of the RCMP. Together, the RCMP and Social Worker began identifying and working with high risk youth.
Patty Sproule, the Director of Community Services for the Town, explained that after referral to the program, the youth are actively monitored by the RCMP and held accountable for their behavior. Youth who express interest in creating a healthier relationship with the community receive guidance and support from the Social Worker to build strengths and develop a positive lifestyle.
The program has now been active for three years and the results have been exceptional.
“Our most recent data shows that 80% of the youth who have participated in this program have remained crime free post involvement, and many of them have successfully returned to school, become gainfully employed, re-established healthy family relationships and even become positive community leaders” explained Sproule. “These results are better than we could ever have hoped for and we are very proud of the accomplishments these young people have made.”
In early 2012, Community Development Manager, Patti Brown, applied for the Minister’s Excellence Award for the purpose of sharing the partnership’s success and experiences with other municipalities. All those involved were thrilled to learn that they won the award.
Mayor Matthews explained that “being recognized through the Municipal Excellence Awards, sponsored by Municipal Affairs, means that the good work done by Community Services and the RCMP can be brought to the attention of other communities who may be facing similar problems. We hope that together, the Province and the Town can continue to support great projects like this one for the benefit of all of our citizens.”
Despite the achievements of the program, funding comes to an end on March 31, 2013. The Community Services Department is actively searching for ongoing funding to continue the project. Anyone with ideas for funding sources is encouraged to contact Patti Brown at (403) 207-7060.
For more information, contact Chestermere Community Services (403) 207-7060.
The Minister’s Awards for Municipal Excellence celebrate the accomplishments of local governments in Alberta. Municipalities are encouraged to share their leading practices as a way to learn from each other as they improve services for residents.