BARCC Wins Provincial Outstanding Achievement Award

Crime Coalition Wins Provincial Outstanding Achievement Award

Barrhead, September 16, 2019 – Barrhead & Area Regional Crime Coalition (BARCC) received the 2019 Minister's Awards for Municipal Excellence - Outstanding Achievement Award, recognizing the partnership between the County of Barrhead, Town of Barrhead, Woodlands County, Barrhead & District Rural Crime Watch and the Barrhead RCMP Detachment as an innovative partnership designed to improve community safety.

The Minister's Awards for Municipal Excellence are awarded in five categories including partnership under which this submission was originally entered. BARCC was recognized as the "initiative that stands out from all other submissions received, an extensive partnership in which all members have both something concrete to contribute and benefit from, and the outcomes have been measurable and recognized in your communities." As a result, the Committee recommended that the BARCC be presented the Outstanding Achievement Award from all submissions entered in the five categories.

The submission not only emphasized the BARCC partnership, but initiatives taken to address concerns surrounding property crimes, lack of communication, and perceived inaction by municipalities and the RCMP.  "I am proud of the way the community has got together and formed the Coalition,” said Reeve Doug Drozd. "BARCC Connect is the first initiative of many that the Coalition will develop to help protect the people and property in our community. Congratulations to all involved at BARCC, you have done the community a great service.”

BARCC Connect was highlighted as unique and modern technology launched in October 2018 as a multi-channel Alert system to help bridge a communication gap between RCMP, municipalities, and public, replacing the historic fan-out system previously implemented by Rural Crime Watch. "Good things happen when we work together,” said Allen Suprovich, President of the local Rural Crime Watch.

More than 1,500 subscribers receive accurate, real-time information from a credible source regarding crime, emergencies, municipal information, news, and events via text message, email, or voice call. The system further provides RCMP the option of harnessing the power of the public as eyes and ears during investigations. "BARCC gives the RCMP the ability to engage the citizens we serve at a moment’s notice and has proven to be a critical tool on many occasions,” said Sgt. Dodds, Barrhead RCMP. Being able to report on an active crime contributes to the public's sense of being a part of the solution without putting themselves or others in danger.

"BARCC has created a positive and empowering culture in addressing crime in our community,” said Mayor Dave McKenzie. "Residents now feel included in the efforts of enforcement to help take back our streets.” Rural crime is a hot topic in Alberta with few solutions presented that are both affordable and effective. Through collaboration and modifications of existing technology, the Coalition was the first in Alberta to use the technology to tackle rural crime.”

Barrhead & Area Regional Crime Coalition (BARCC) was established in 2017 as a regional partnership in response to concerns of growing property crimes. The overall purpose of BARCC is "taking an active role in reducing crime through coordinated efforts in education and awareness of crime prevention and reporting of suspicious activities."