A number of Nova Scotians were recognized at the 25th Annual Atlantic Coordinating Committee on Crime Prevention & Community Safety Conference for their efforts to prevent crime and make communities safer. Minister of Justice and Attorney General Ross Landry presented the Justice Minister's Award for Leadership in Crime Prevention at the conference in Halifax.
Awards were presented in six categories including individual, youth, community group or organization, community policing, media and business community.
A committee reviewed the nominations and selected the seven recipients based on commitment to their local issue, empowering their community, leadership by encouraging and educating others, working together to build partnerships, and innovative, inclusive and flexible.
As a community leader, 989X FM Radio was an instrumental partner in the 2010 Domestic Violence public awareness campaign undertaken by the Antigonish RCMP to encourage first-time victims of domestic violence to report the assault. The station aired the public service announcements over an extended period of time on a schedule that would best reach potential victims. The success of their work was evident when a front-line police officer reported that a victim who had been abused for a number of years, heard the Public Service Announcement and finally had the courage to come forward and file a complaint with the police.
In 2006, Justin Fenton participated in the Yarmouth-based program, “A School for Warriors Without Weapons”. After participating in this program, Mr. Fenton began his journey to help other youth at risk. His work includes the creation of the Yarmouth Youth Centre, being a mediator for Restorative Justice, writing for Teens Now Talk Magazine, initiating the “Four Nations of Talent” to celebrate youth and community talent; and most recently, as a volunteer facilitator with Heartwood Centre for Community Youth Development. Mr. Fenton exemplifies leadership, dedication and commitment to mentoring youth at risk.
Bria Miller is a leader among her peers at Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School. She volunteers as a student Case Worker leading 15 other student volunteers who deliver an alternative to out-of-school suspensions for fellow students. Ms. Miller is a key player in fostering relationships between at-risk youth, the school and the community. She is also an advocate for the Tri-County Restorative Justice program. The relationships she has built with community agencies, youth addiction services, mental health, Tri-County Women’s Center, Support Housing for Homeless Youth and local media are also part of her success story and further advance her work with youth.
Halifax Shopping Centre is an excellent example of a business working diligently to make a difference in their community for over the past decade. The Shopping Centre’s Teen Advisory Board engages youth to give back to the community. The Youth Drop in Centre provides a safe and productive environment inside the Shopping Centre for youth to “hang out”. But their work does not stop here. The Halifax Shopping Centre Cop Shop program inspired other retailers across Canada to establish the same program, now operating in eight cities across Canada. The generosity of Operation Warmth helps over 500 youth purchase new winter coats.
The Association for Safer Cape Breton Communities provides programs and resources that offer solutions to research-based, crime-related issues facing their communities. The association partners with media, police, youth organizations, Cape Breton Regional municipality and the Housing Authority, to name a few. These partnerships have made a significant impact in the community by tackling crime head on and providing tangible solutions to the difficulties facing Cape Breton residents.
The Demetreous Lane Tenants Association is committed to bettering the lives of its residents in North End Dartmouth. The programs offered by the Association have engaged individuals in the community, helped them to develop life skills, and opened doors to positive opportunities. Since the establishment of the Demetreous Lane Tenants Association, crime rates in the community have dropped and residents are more engaged in community activities.
RCMP Officer, Constable Susan Foote of Lunenburg County established programs that help bridge gaps between the Acadian First Nations Community, youth and police. She has also worked hard to foster independence among senior citizens through education and awareness programs. Constable Foote, may be found teaching seniors how to protect themselves personally and financially; or on an overnight camping trip with members from the Gold River Community, celebrating the end of a three day leadership development workshop for those participants.
Constable Holly Thomas of Halifax Regional Police is instrumental to improving the quality of life for those who live, work and visit the Uniacke Square community. She is committed to the growth and development of the Uniacke Square Community in downtown Halifax. Constable Thomas was the driving force behind a new sound studio in the community that provides youth with an opportunity to express themselves in a positive, creative way, which in turn is building skills and self esteem for the youth involved. Constable Thomas continues to be a mentor and tutor in the community.
Constable Kenneth MacDonald of New Glasgow Police Service is an Officer who has dedicated most of his policing career to community development through crime prevention in the Pictou County area. His dedication was instrumental in the success of numerous crime prevention programs and partnerships between New Glasgow Police Service and the community at large. Under Constable MacDonald’s leadership, the first Police Youth Crime Prevention Training Camp in Canada was developed.
Beatrice LeBlanc has spent her entire career advocating for victims of family violence. She is the founding member of numerous organizations that continue to be fundamental in preventing crime. Ms. LeBlanc is recognized on a national scale for her expertise and knowledge in the area of family violence. For the majority of her career, Ms. LeBlanc served as the Executive Director of the Cape Breton Transition House. While she has retired from this position, she continues to be an advocate for crime prevention and her work in the prevention of family violence has left a lasting legacy for Nova Scotia.