Lethbridge’s Watch safety program given Community Justice Award

A program that aims to make Lethbridge’s streets a safer place to be through social outreach, connection and intervention, has been recognized for its efforts by the provincial government.

The Watch was one of this year’s recipients of a Community Justice Award, a decoration that highlights the contributions of people, businesses and organizations that help preserve justice in Alberta communities.

Officials say it received the award in the “partnerships and collaboration” category.

“The Watch has been exemplary in demonstrating innovation, service enhancement, community mobilization and partnership all in working with the Lethbridge Police Service to create a safe community for all,” said Lethbridge Police Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh in a news release on Friday.

Jeff Cove, the manager of The Watch, said the volunteers who work with the program deserve all the credit.

“(They are) giving the greatest gift that they can give to their community and the people in it – themselves, and their time,” said Cove.

“This is a very remarkable group and I thank them for doing what they do for others every day, and for allowing me to represent them.”

Alberta’s justice minister says the work of all individuals, businesses and community groups to protect public safety is important and appreciated.

“Whether they’re helping Albertans fight racism and inequality, doing street-level work to deter crime or helping individuals navigate the legal system, the recipients of this year’s Alberta Community Justice Awards have all helped make this province a safer, more community-minded place,” said Tyler Shandro in a release.

Since it was established in May 2019, 106 people have served in the organization. Currently, 32 members patrol downtown Lethbridge.

More details on the provincial government’s Community Justice Awards, including the rest of this year’s recipients, can be found online.

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