Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fort McMurray and Crime

Well, well, well. Considering some recent comments made in a city to the south one might think that our little community of Fort McMurray is a beehive of criminal activity that spills outside our city limits. Thus I read with interest, people, this news release regarding Fort McMurray crime statistics.

What does that little news release indicate? Well, it means that despite the continuing growth of our city our crime rate is dropping. You can attribute that to many things - a stronger police presence, a healthier sense of community, and perhaps even just a levelling out of the "wild west" attitude that once seemed to permeate this city. Urbanization is alive and well in our city, and with it comes citizens who take a more pro-active role in protecting our community.

What is particularly interesting to me is that violent crime has dropped. Considering some of those recent allegations made in Edmonton one would think that we should be seeing increased violent crime here, too, since we are truly the "home" of the northern and dry camp workers. And yet those statistics have decreased.

People, I love it when statistics fly in the face of what is believed to be true. I've had people who have never been to this city tell me about crime in my city, as if they somehow knew what was going on because they've seen a 30-second TV report on some isolated crime here. I'm seriously thinking about printing out this news release so that the next time I am cornered by a distant relative intent on lecturing me on the "evils" of my home I can just hand it to them and walk away.

Frankly I'm proud of all of us, from our mayor and city council to our RCMP detachment to the average citizen who watches out for their neighbourhood and the people in it. We want the world to know that the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has long been maligned and abused by others while we ourselves always knew what this community is really all about. We are done with drive-by journalists telling the world (and us) who we are and what our community is like. We are starting to tell our own story - and now we have some lovely little numbers to back up our tale. I'm posting that little link above on my Facebook profile, people. It's worth sharing with the world, don't you think?

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