Protecting our families and our properties has always been of the utmost importance in River Heights-Fort Garry.
Over the years, I’ve been proud to support a variety of community-led initiatives with the goal of educating residents on how to best ensure their homes, yards and vehicles are as safe as possible.
And we have seen amazing work done in the community, by the community for the community.
From increased communication in the neighbourhood on Facebook groups, to block parties (when it was safe to gather together) to get to know our neighbours, to the River Heights Patrol and Vehicle and Theft Prevention Program with yellow reminder cards on our dashboards, our volunteers and community members should be commended as all these activities work to make our area less attractive as a target for crime.
One of the most popular - and successful - programs has been the Brighten Up program.
Starting back in 2018, concerned community members approached me about working together to light up dark spots in back lanes through installing motion sensitive lights within the public right-of-way. As many thefts and acts of vandalism are more likely to occur in poorly lit areas, lighting has proven to be an effective deterrent against criminals. Under the original program, over 50 lights were installed in dark areas.
The original program was so successful, we wanted to keep it going. And I’m pleased to say that Brighten Up 2.0 is ready to roll!
Here is how it’ll work:
• Those who live in the River Heights-Fort Garry ward can register with my office (call 204-986-5236 or email email@example.com to confirm that funding is available). Funding will be available for 50 lights on a first-come, first-served basis;
• Approved participants then purchase and install a motion sensitive light lighting their back lanes;
• Once the light is installed, participants submit a receipt, a photo of the light in place and a completed grant application for a rebate of up to $50;
• Grant applications must be returned by July 30, 2021.
Sounds easy enough, right? A simple light can make a big difference.
But there are more ways you can make a difference, too.
To stay informed about crime trends and receive timely crime prevention tips, you can subscribe to the Winnipeg Police Services E-Watch emails at winnipeg.ca/WpgMail/subscribe_all.stm
I also urge you to do your part in keeping our community safe this season, whether it’s through the Brighten Up program, speaking with your neighbours about securing their property and vehicles or joining a neighbourhood watch group.
You can find a listing of available resources and groups on my website, orlikow.ca, under Issues and Neighbourhood Safety.
If you have any questions or if you have your own idea for a community safety initiative, please reach out.
Call me at 204-986-5236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – I look forward to hearing from you.
River Heights - Fort Garry city council ward report
John Orlikow is the city councillor for River Heights - Fort Garry.