Friday, December 9, 2011

REALTORS® and OPP launch Realty Watch

The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) and the Ontario Provincial Police have launched a new community policing program– Realty Watch.
“The program has two components,” says Sgt. Steve Montpetit, O.P.P. Provincial AMBER Alert Coordinator. “The first has to do with reporting suspicious activity. REALTORS® can report either directly to the police or through Crime Stoppers any suspicious activity they observe in the course of their day-to-day business . . . and that’s potentially very useful when you consider how much crime takes place during the day when people are away at work.”
“The second component of the Realty Watch Program has to do with responding to alerts,” Montpetit continues . “Both AMBER alerts, which go out in the case of child abduction cases , but other alerts as well, such as those that go out when people with a medical condition go missing. LSTAR has over 1,500 Members spread out over three counties linked together through an association-wide, internet-based communications system that allows them to receive alerts immediately. From a police perspective, that’s a lot of eyes on the ground.”
“Realty Watch is a concrete way REALTORS® can help improve the Quality of Life in our community,” says Jack Lane, LSTAR President. “In the course of doing our business, we’re out and about in neighbourhoods at all times of the day and night; provided we know what to look for, we might be able to provide useful information to the police, and that’s what Realty Watch is all about. As for the alerts, the broader the net the police can cast, the more likely we are to find people in trouble before it’s too late. “
Realty Watch was kicked off with an intensive training session, taught by Sgt. Montpetit and Sgt. Monica Harris, O.P.P. Provincial Crime Stoppers Coordinator and attended by over 134 REALTORS. Both Mark and myself attended this training session at the Real Estate Board.

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