Elmira resident Todd Cowan has been named to the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council as a community representative.
The crime prevention council brings together community agencies and groups like social services, police, housing, education, mental health and neighbourhood associations, to work on preventative approaches to crime.
Cowan, who worked in the Ministry of Community Safety and Correction at Queen’s Park, said the council’s collaborative approach helps break down the “silo” tendency of government.
Cowan sits on the anti-bullying committee at his daughter’s school, and he’s been asked to put together an anti-bullying toolkit for other schools.
“I want to look at our schools here and say, “Is bullying an issue?’”
Ideas that work in Elmira will be offered up to schools across the region, and vice versa; the council actively seeks out solutions that prove effective elsewhere in Canada and around the world.
Crime prevention will become more important as Elmira grows, Cowan said. The town has made a good start with initiatives like the youth drop-in centre, and he’d like to see more work done in that direction – perhaps a mobile skate park like one in Kitchener.
“As we grow into a bigger community, we get the positives – better business, better economy. [But] the negative we have is more crime. It could start out as petty crime but then it could escalate.
“If we spend a little bit of money now on preventing crime and the causes of crime, it’s going to have a better effect at the end.”