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Hosted by Zach Jeffries, Saskatoon In Focus explores the issues affecting our community through engaging and informative one-on-one conversations with the key players shaping our city's future. Watch our YouTube channel for new episodes of SIF.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Battling Crime, Building Community

As a lifelong Saskatonian, it is always a pleasure to experience this city in a new way or view life here through a different lens.  One of the things I love most about hosting 'Saskatoon In Focus' is when I walk away from most of our interviews, I see Saskatoon just a little bit differently than I did 30 minutes before.

In 2011, in preparation for an interview with Police Chief Clive Weighill, I went out on a police 'ride along'.  Basically, ride along participants become a patrol officer's partner in fighting crime for four hours, seeing, hearing, and doing what they normally do for one evening.  Needless to say, for a 'first-timer', this was an eyeopening experience.  In this case, I was 'along for the ride' on the East side of Saskatoon, driving through the neighbourhoods in which I grew up, live, and work.

Over the course of the evening, we attended to many calls including a break and enter, a loud argument in an apartment building, an altercation at a local pub, and finallly an issue where someone had been stealing doormats from a condominium building.  The condominium door mat call came right at the end of the evening, so on the way back to the station, the Constable and I had a chance to start joking about that particular call.  This light hearted moment is what I most take away from the whole experience.

The Constable shared his philosophy on policing.  He said that with every call that comes in, no matter how trivial it may seem, he always makes sure to approach it with respect and professionalism.  In his words: "How would you feel if you were the one with the broken window or the stolen door mats?  It would be the most important issue to you at that moment."  This stuck with me.  It reminded me that when we deal with other people in our community we must keep in mind that everyone's opinions and problems are valid and we should treat others with respect.

I end every Saskatoon In Focus episode by saying that "we can make Saskatoon the best city in the world." If we all keep this pearl of wisdom in mind as we live and make decisions together in Saskatoon, I know that we will be well on our way to achieving that goal.

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