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Posted: August 26, 2013

East Kootenay Crime Stoppers – reloaded

Letter to the Editor

Earlier this spring East Kootenay Crime Stoppers just about became a defunct, dissolved society. The dedicated past board members, some providing over 20 plus years of service, many with a dozen or so years of service, which allowed the East Kootenay Crime Stoppers program to work tirelessly in the background allowing the program work successfully, had become tired.

Each of those board members put in year after year of numerous volunteer hours.  Very similar to so many of the local charities, societies and non profit groups that provide various services within our community, with each board totally unselfishly committed to their cause and sense of being part of the community.  But the East Kootenay Crime Stopper board faced a very common problem plaguing volunteer organizations today; where are all the volunteers?

Over the course of several years the Crime Stopper board tried various strategies to attract new volunteers so the program could continue. Some good citizens stepped forward but only a couple remained. With no apparent hope of having enough people to man the required number of volunteers to fill the directors positions to enable Crime Stoppers to continue on, the board voted to dissolve.

But alas, a strong effort was put forward by Al Sismey from the BC Crime Stoppers Advisory Board and Eric Ausman, the East Kootenay Crime Stoppers civilian coordinator, in an effort to revive the society.

Local media listened to the story and went out to the community with compassion for the plight of Crime Stoppers; a program that had run successfully since May 1991 when it was incorporated as a society.  And the community listened and read about what was about to happen to our long-standing program. They read about the successes of the program within our community from over the years.  Many, many citizens of the community stepped up responding and inquiring what they could do to ensure our program could continue, as they believed in the programs objective to make our community a safer community.

From those many responses, good citizens stepped forward to champion the program and the past board voted to retract their letter to dissolve the society. The society is again in good order as a full board is now in place and registered under the BC Society Act.

The board members are:  Chair – Dawn Simon, Vice-Chair- Cecilia Teneese, Treasurer – Theresa Neufeld, Secretary – Colleen Hedin, Directors – Lars Noack & Jim Kinsman, members – Len Sullivan, Baraba Jarrett and Karen McGregor.

Al Simsey who was quoted quite extensively in a news article commented upon learning of the success of reinstating the Crime Stopper board, “I am very excited to have been a very small part in helping to resurrect the East Kootenay Crime Stoppers program.  It would have been a terrible loss to your area to lose what has become the “best crime fighting tool the police have access to at a cost that is very minimal” for all the communities serviced after being in existence for over 21 years.  The real accolades go to the community folks that have stepped forward and committed their time to ensure Crime Stoppers remains in the forefront in the fight against crime in the East Kootenay region. On behalf of the BC Crime Stoppers my sincere thanks and appreciation to all involved who participated in making this happen.”

East Kootenay Crime Stoppers

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