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City increases security at Skate Park over vandalism complaints

By: Christina Waldner

  |  Posted: Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 12:18 pm

Airdrie City Council has responded to concerns from residents about security at the Chinook Winds Skate Park.
Airdrie City Council has responded to concerns from residents about security at the Chinook Winds Skate Park.
File Photo/Rocky View Publishing

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Acting on complaints they’ve received from residents the City of Airdrie has increased their security presence at the Chinook Winds Skate Park.

City of Airdrie’s Corporate Communications Team Leader Lynda Phelan said, she was unable to release the number of complaints the City has received, but said it was significant enough for them to have their security firm, Airdrie’s Knight Security, make regular patrols of the skate park. The complaints included concerns about vandalized washrooms, graffiti, and drug and alcohol use, she said.

“Knight started doing extra evening patrols at Chinook Winds on July 11 and will continue until Thanksgiving,” said Phelan.

“They also patrol Nose Creek, East Lake and Fletcher Parks.”

Phelan said the cost to add these additional patrols was approximately $20,000.

Knight Security also regularly patrols City Hall and other City-owned facilities, according to Phelan.

In addition to the security patrols, the City has installed a security camera on top of the new concession building at Chinook Winds and the concession building also has a security alarm system.

Phelan said the cost to install the camera was $7,700.

According to Phelan, Knight Security works with the city’s Municipal Enforcement department and the RCMP to ensure there is a good security presence at the skate park 24-hours a day.

“We intend to use the knowledge cleaned from (the added patrols) to provide council with an accurate assessment of what is happening at the parks and provide a plan for continued enjoyment of the parks by all users and community safety,” said Phelan.

Darryl Poburan, manager of Municipal Enforcement, RCMP and Building Inspections, said his officers are responsible for responding to complaints at the skate park during business hours, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. RCMP take over those duties at night, and now Knight Security provides additional after hours patrols.

“Definitely (security at the skate park) has come up a lot more this year, I think because there’s been more residents complaining,” said Poburan. “As the City of Airdrie gets busier, you’ll have more (issues).”

According to Airdrie Parks Department Team Leader Archie Lang, Chinook Winds Park can be “more susceptible to objectionable behaviour like drinking in public or loitering because of its location in a developing area of the city.”

“Chinook Winds Park is still out in the country basically and there’s nothing but field to the west so the people hanging out there might feel like they’re not going to be seen. I’m sure that when that area is more built up, you’ll see less of these issues,” Lang said.

Airdrie RCMP Community Liaison Officer Cst. Jason Curtis echoed some of Lang’s comments.

“Because Chinook Winds is an isolated area, people do tend to congregate there and it is one of the areas that the RCMP targets with our patrols,” Curtis said.

“If any residents see something that they don’t like they can give us a call.”

The Airdrie RCMP non-emergency phone number is 403-945-7200.

- With files from Matt Durnan


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