Williams Lake RCMP Const. Colby Hendrickson gave first presentation at the Gang and Gun Violence Prevention Training workshop in the lakecity Tuesday, April 16. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Keeping children safe from gangs workshops, training coming to Williams Lake

There will be community sessions in Tl’etinqox and the lakecity as well as training in Williams Lake

Keeping children safe from gangs was the focus of training and community presentations taking place in the Williams Lake area April 15 to 17.

Silvia Seibert-Dubray, director of instruction of support services for School District 27, Jeff Pelley, Insp. and officer in charge of the Williams Lake RCMP and Dave Dickson, manager of community safety, co-ordinated the events and have all attended similar presentations.

“It is an initiative out of ERASE, Expect Respect and a Safe Education, called Gang Reduction through Informed Practices (GRIP),” Dubray said. “Williams Lake was one of 12 communities chosen this year to host it.”

A community presentation took place at Tl’etinqox First Nation on Monday, April 15 from 5:30 to 8 p.m and a presentation for parents of school-aged children was scheduled for Tuesday, April 16 at Lake City Secondary Williams Lake Campus beginning at 6 p.m.

Additionally, any stakeholders involved with youth such the RCMP, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Denisqi Services Society, Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre, Three Corners Health Services Society and First Nations Education co-ordinators were invited to participate in gang and gun violence prevention training on April 16 and 17.

The training was led by Sgt. Keiron McConnell who has worked with the criminal justice system for the last 26 years.

“Keiron does a lot of gang strategies and gang outreach across B.C. and in Alberta,” Pelley said, adding McConnell is a police officer as well.

Rob Rai, an educator, is also part of the program who started the gang prevention program in Surrey and also travels around the province.

“Dave Dickson worked on bringing them up here to help us with some localized training with our local teams to try and move forward on strategies to reduce gang violence in this community and develop some strategies,” Pelley said.

Dubray has worked in SD27 for 30 years and said through her career she has seen lots of students slip through the cracks.

“The facilitators will come in and we can talk to the community about what gang life looks like and how to watch for signs to keep your kids out of gang life,” Dubray said. “Keiron does a really good presentation on both.”

Pelley described gang issues in the Cariboo Chilcotin as a group of individuals and negative peer groups that work amongst each other.

“I think we have had an extreme reduction in any violence over the last couple of years, that’s for sure, but there is always above and beyond enforcement which the RCMP are mainly involved in and that education in partnerships and collaborative intervention programs,” Pelley said, noting students, parents and educators can all play a role to make a safer and more successful community.

The community presentations in Tl’etinqox and Williams Lake were both free.

“Let’s be aware that this could be in our community, and how do we prevent our kids from being involved,” Dubray said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Barkerville set to re-open in phases

Accomodations, shops, restaraunts to open June 18, exhibits and public programming July 3

P.G.’s Barb Ward-Burkitt named new chair of Minister’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women

A survivor of domestic abuse herself, Ward-Burkitt has served as vice-chair since 2018

Williams Lake aims to hire own archaeologist

Mayor Walt Cobb said the hope is archaelogical assessments will be done in a timely fashion

Williams Lake teens organize protest in support of Black Lives Matter

Everyone is welcome to join in the protest which will get underway at 2 p.m.

Williams Lake RCMP capture fugitive walking along Highway 97 in city limits

Witness said they could hear police yelling for suspect to ‘get down’

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Limit gun capacity to five bullets, victims group urges Trudeau government

Current limits are generally five bullets for hunting rifles and shotguns and 10 for handguns.

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Most Read