Pubdate: Fri, 09 Oct 2009
Source: Airdrie City View (CN AB)
Copyright: 2009 Airdrie City View Ltd.
Author: Stacie Snow
Bookmark: (Youth)


Airdrie's new community resource officers will help students of all 
ages become more comfortable with police officers.

Constables Robert Frizzell and Patti Reid, who started Sept. 1, will 
work with all of the schools in Airdrie. Frizzell will present the 
DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program to younger students 
and Reid will work with students in middle and high schools. "We are 
working one success at a time," said Reid.

"Through relationship development, we can provide assistance to 
families in crisis, kids who are being bullied and resolve any safety 
concerns in the schools, while diminishing elicit drug activity."

The vision of the community resource unit is to build bridges between 
youth at risk and police by providing early intervention and positive 
interaction. The members will work with community partners and 
agencies to address illicit drug use, violence, bullying and criminal 
behaviour by youth.

Reid said it takes five healthy adults to raise a child.

"If home life isn't so good, we need to make sure the child is 
connecting with teachers, aunts, older siblings, police or social 
services," said Reid.

"This will help them realize that there are positive or negative 
consequences for their actions but we can work through this. It takes 
a community to raise a child and we should get back to that."

Reid has spoken to the students in Bert Church, George McDougall and 
St. Martin de Porres high schools and so far, her presence has been 
well received.

"It is a positive, proactive force in our school," said George 
McDougall principal Mark Davidson.

"This is opening the lines of communication with the RCMP. Now when 
kids see something in the community that they know is wrong, they 
have a contact that they know and trust."

The program serves the rest of the community by making streets and 
neighbourhoods safer, he added.

Bernard Downey, principal of St. Martin de Porres High School, said 
he wants to make it clear that Reid's job is not just about talking 
to the "bad" kids.

"It is about sending a proactive message and teaching children how to 
avoid going down negative roads," he said.

Nancy Adams, principal of Bert Church High School, said she is very 
much looking forward to having Reid in the school.

"It will be a huge benefit because kids will no longer think of 
police officers as bad people," she said.

"They can see (Reid) as a support rather than someone to be afraid of."
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