May 24, 2024

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The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce is pushing for a Enterprise Watch program following a number of stories of break-ins, thefts and vandalism reported by native companies. This system’s particulars are nonetheless being made, however it will be just like a neighbourhood watch. It might embody partnerships with the municipality, police and the group.

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Dianna de Sousa, the chamber’s government director, mentioned in an interview companies are supportive of the thought. Some communities with a Enterprise Watch have failed or had blended outcomes, mentioned de Sousa. However she says native companies are anxious to strive something and prepared to cooperate with different organizations.

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“There is no such thing as a group that doesn’t face these issues, however there does really feel like there’s a rise,” mentioned de Sousa. “It’s being reported by each enterprise and the response from the membership on this has been super.”

In a letter to Mayor Sandy Bowman and the remainder of council on Aug. 21, the chamber argues this system will increase safety, enhance response occasions and communication, construct group cohesion and deter crime. It might additionally construct financial stability and promote progress.

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The thought was being developed by the chamber of commerce earlier than an arson on the Complement King in Thickwood on Aug. 20. de Sousa says the crimes have occurred in all financial sectors locally. Many incidents reportedly occurred at liquor and nook shops, development websites, eating places, places of work and warehouses. A break-in even occurred not too long ago on the chamber of commerce’s downtown workplace.

One problem is getting companies to report incidents, since de Sousa says many smaller incidents don’t get reported to police. There’s additionally a false impression that these issues are triggered solely by people who find themselves homeless. de Sousa says this has been disproven based mostly on individuals who have been caught following some incidents.

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“The issue isn’t localized to downtown, it occurs all over the place. It simply appears to be escalating in downtown,” she mentioned.

de Sousa mentioned her conversations with council and the municipality have been optimistic on the subject. She suggests the municipality might additionally take steps equivalent to bettering lighting and creating grants for safety measures.

Bowman mentioned in an electronic mail he has been talking with companies, the chamber of commerce and police about what a Enterprise Watch program might appear like.

“Any steps that may be taken to assist improve security and scale back crime downtown ought to catch the attention of all of us. When downtown improves, it’s good for everybody,” he mentioned. “We’re a group that finds options when challenges come up. I totally count on we’ll take the identical strategy to enhancing public security and defending downtown.”

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