The easy thing to do is complain.
And, of course, an uptick in property crime in the valley is a pretty good reason to complain.
The more difficult thing to do is to become part of the solution.
Residents of Smithers have an opportunity to do just that and it starts today.
Tonight at the Sunshine Inn starting at 7 p.m. there will be an informational session about Citizens on Patrol (COP).
Not that long ago, just prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in fact, the Smithers chapter of COP was the envy of rural communities, said then-community safety and bylaw officer Matt Davey.
“When I go out of town to larger centres and talk to other community police officers and tell them that our volunteer base is 25 people if we include Crime Stoppers and Speed Watch, their minds are blown,” he said.
Just three years later, that volunteer base is down to just four people.
It doesn’t really matter why at this point. What is important is growing the base back to a level that can provide effective help to authorities.
“The need for volunteers is the first step in the process of rebuilding the organization again,” said Grant Harris, the facilitator of tonight’s meeting.
“What I’ve been told is that 20 volunteers would be great for a community the size of Smithers, to spread out the load of observing,”
Police say having people out on the streets observing is invaluable to them.
Not only is there a possibility of alerting police to crimes or attempted crimes in progress, but just the mere presence of volunteers sends a message that people care about the community and are not going to tolerate crime in the community.
Don’t do the easy thing and complain, do the more difficult thing and get involved in protecting Smithers by attending tonight’s meeting.