Police to pound the pavement in Forest Lawn to curb crime
Beat team to begin foot patrols in the southeast Calgary neighbourhood
Heather Moisan has lived in the Calgary neighbourhood of Forest Lawn for seven years.
"It's getting a little tense out there," said the resident. “There's a lot of drug addicts. You find people going into your yard digging at stuff if you're not home."
To curb crime in Forest Lawn, the Calgary Police Service has launched a new initiative along 17 Avenue S.E., the main thoroughfare in the neighbourhood.
Starting Thursday, police will deploy a "beat team" — a total of 16 constables will patrol 18 to 20 hours a day, seven days a week, on foot.
"We're focusing basically all the way from Deerfoot Trail out and into the community on either side of 17 Avenue," said Sgt. Phil Hoegter, who will lead the beat team.
A police operation in Forest Lawn last month netted 16 drug-related charges and 23 alleged sex trade offenders.
"As much as we can spend time out here talking to community members, finding out the issues, going to places we need to be, to prevent it, that's going to decrease work for everyone in the long-term," said Hoegter.
The beat team will interact with children and youths in the area through schools, recreation programs and summer camps. Police say they are also working on a new youth initiative that will launch this fall.
"I grew up in this community,” added Hoegter. “I've lived here on and off for 30 years or more. It's a safe community. There's issues like any community and we're going to be there to solve [them], but still it's a great place to live."
Heather Moisan is pleased that more police will be patrolling her Forest Lawn neighbourhood on foot.
"I think it'll make a big difference. I'm hoping anyway, even if it just scares some of the criminals".