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Vandalism task force disbands

St. Albert’s Task Force on Vandalism came to a quiet end this week, disbanding and leaving its work for a variety of other crime prevention groups in town.
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St. Albert’s Task Force on Vandalism came to a quiet end this week, disbanding and leaving its work for a variety of other crime prevention groups in town.

The news came at the end of a meeting Tuesday night where task force members reviewed the group’s progress. Both co-chairs, Stanley Haroun and Brian Andersen, planned to step down and with no one to take their place, members decided to close down.

Launched in 2005 and originally called the Task Force on Vandalism and Youth Issues, the group had worked on a number of initiatives aimed at reducing and cleaning up vandalism in the community.

Founding co-chairs, Haroun and Lynda Moffat, now CEO and president of the chamber, originally put forward a number of initiatives, including sponsoring community block parties and pushing for a curfew bylaw.

Andersen said the task force ultimately had run its course and this was a good time for it to fold.

“I am pleased it didn’t just fade away, that we accomplished something.”

Andersen said with the RCMP’s new neighbourhood development teams and organizations like Neighbourhood Watch and Citizens on Patrol, the vandalism issue will still get attention.

“I am not worried that vandalism will be ignored. I think these groups will just focus on it in a different way.”

Andersen said he is pleased with the task force’s accomplishments and especially the neighbourhood block parties.

Andersen said he is also proud of workshops the group put together for RCMP officers, school board officials and city workers on a program that aims to reduce crime through good planning.

The program, called Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, aims to reduce crime through smart planning. Prior to the task force forming no one locally had been trained in its principles.

Insp. Warren Dosko of St. Albert RCMP said the neighbourhood development initiative works on fixing root problems in communities, including vandalism. While the task force was a welcome addition, the issue will still be addressed, he said.

He told the small group assembled Tuesday night the teams were already working in Sturgeon Heights, Braeside and Deer Ridge.




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