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Volunteer group will patrol downtown Lethbridge starting this spring

WATCH ABOVE: On Wednesday, the Lethbridge Police Service provided details about a volunteer program which will see the city's residents patrol downtown streets in the spring. Matt Battochio reports.

Lethbridge city councillors are hoping the launch of a new downtown patrol group will help citizens feel safer.

The group, called The Watch, will be comprised primarily of volunteers who will patrol downtown Lethbridge, offering safe walks to citizens and calling emergency services if they see anything of concern.

Members of The Watch, which will be modelled after a similar program in Winnipeg, will be recognizable by their red shirts.

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In a Wednesday news release, Lethbridge police said the group will work seven days a week to provide an additional layer of safety to citizens.

“The Watch volunteers will be exposed to many aspects of our city,” Chief Rob Davis said. “We hope to attract citizens who want to give back to the city. Serving with The Watch will also be an outstanding opportunity for students who want to test drive a career in policing or social services but are still unsure of what exactly they want to do or what they’ll be exposed to.”

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“If The Watch leads to a career in law enforcement, emergency medical services, social services, addictions counselling — you name it — it is a win-win for the community as a whole.”

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A recruiting drive for volunteers will take place in mid-February with patrols expected to start in mid-April.

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A posting for a manager position is listed at Lethbridge.ca/careers. Submissions will be accepted until Feb. 8.

Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to follow the Lethbridge Police Service on Facebook and Twitter as recruiting information will be posted when available.