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October is a busy crime prevention month


The month of October has always been a very busy month for crime prevention. This year is no exception and there are some exciting programs coming just around the corner. I would like to use this article to touch briefly on what you can expect.

Operation impact will be going on from Oct. 6 to 9. The police department will be conducting several checkpoints during the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Operation impact is a national initiative targeting the big four killers: impaired driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving and seat belts. Please drive with care during the holiday weekend!
The Amherst Police Department and the Cumberland Senior Safety program is teaming up with Furlong-Jones Funeral Services to host another Senior Safety Police Academy.
The academy starts on Oct. 11 and goes from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
The academy will run for six weeks (each Wednesday) ending with a graduation on Nov. 15.
The presentations are focused on senior safety issues, senior programs and also some presentations that highlight some of the tools utilized by our police department during their duties. The event is free and open to anyone 55 plus.
A lunch is provided by Furlong-Jones and I can’t say enough thanks for their assistance with this program. It is one of my most favourite events of the year and I look forward to seeing all the participants who come out year after year.
For me, it’s a great way to link up with our older population. More than once, I have been taught a thing or two by this group! I hope to see you all there in the coming weeks.
MADD will also be hosting its first ever Strides for Change' event at Dickey Park on Oct. 14 starting at noon.
This is a walk/run event around the Dickey Park track. People have the choice to walk or run 5km or 10 km. Every step taken and money raised will help raise funds for the local MADD chapter and raise awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.
On average four Canadians are killed and 175 injured every day as a result of impaired driving. Pledge sheets can be found at the Bike Specialist.
Registration fee is at least $20 and people can register on the day of the event if they so wish.
On Oct. 16, the Amherst Police Department is teaming up with the Lion’s Club and will be putting on the annual Race against Drugs event at Spring Street Academy.
This event has grade five students racing from booth to booth listening to various stakeholders about the dangers of drugs and how to make healthy choices.
The kids also participate in a race track contest with one student taking home a trophy at the end of the day.
This event has been going on for a long time mainly due to the hard work of our local Lions club. Their tireless work on drug prevention has had an impact on our community. I look forward to seeing all the kids there that day.
Lastly, Oct. 16 to the 20th is National School Bus Safety week. Our department will be passing out flyers at checkpoints to raise awareness of school bus safety. We would like to educate the public on the dangers of illegally passing a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing.
The Nova Scotia School Boards Association had reported that more than 1,100 incidents of drivers failing to stop for a school bus with its red lights flashing in the 2015-2016 year.
We all can do better than that. I am hopeful we will see a dramatic decline in these offenses for the 2017-2018 school year.
Stay safe everyone!

Const. Tom Wood is the crime prevention officer with the Amherst Police Department.
 

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