REGINA – The City of Regina kicked off Crime Prevention Week on Monday by showcasing programs and organizations that support children and youth.
“It’s a way to just give thanks to those who do so much to help our city,” said Mayor Michael Fougere at the Mackenzie Art Gallery for the opening event.
The honourees included 11 and Under Initiative, Early Years Family Centre, KidsFirst, Mother Teresa Middle School, Regina Youth for Christ, and Street Culture Kidz Project.
The idea of reaching out to kids early means to “Plant the seeds early of a behavior that’s a positive one,” said Fougere.
The Regina Police Service’s 11 and Under Initiative reaches out to children at risk of criminal behavior or victimization.
“Through my years of policing, if we can support a youth so that they’re not in conflict with the law moving forward, that’s exactly what we want,” said Chief Troy Hagen.
Despite the successes, Hagen said it’s not a solo mission.
“It takes a collaborative effort with a number of different, as I use the analogy, spokes on the wheel to keep the wheel moving forward,” he said.
The sentiment was echoed by Spurgeon Root, Director of Outreach Ministries at Healing Heart Ministries.
The Helping Hands program he manages has worked with two of the six honourees. The program takes a rounded approach, offering counselling, employment development and help with other life issues.
“If all we do is address one issue or two issues we’re going to miss a bunch of the other things that go into why people commit crime,” said Root.