A video production highlighting rural crime prevention tips is starting to look like an action-packed movie.
The production is all part of a venture by the Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch Association to update an aged 1980’s crime watch video and to show some of the important steps needed to protect rural homes from criminal activity.
It’s an important enough issue that RCMP have been supporting the video with real police and by creating events similar to what goes on in the rural areas. In November 2017 the production featured a burning “stolen” vehicle. Wetaskiwin and Bashaw RCMP assisted the production with the Wetaskiwin Fire Department on hand.
More recently, on Aug. 20 the production continued with Bashaw RCMP, a RCMP helicopter and police dog services on hand for a scenario that included finding a suspect who stole an ATV from a rural property.
The production is in its final stages of filming, explained videographer Ben Wilson. He expects to have several short videos ready in the next six to eight weeks.
“There’s going to be one main promotional video and then some topic-based videos that give people resources and tips on how to target-harden their homes,” said Wilson.
The Aug. 20 filming was held on Duncan and Tammy Ball’s home and on Donnie Sproule’s land west of Bashaw. Both the Balls and Donnie were eager to support the project as their locations were a perfect example of a rural home. Duncan is also involved with the Battle River Rural Crime Watch group.
“This was a great location to shoot today,” explained Wilson, adding that having the helicopter and the RCMP service dog made for some topical footage.
“We created a story line today and were able to shoot that from a bunch of different perspectives.”
Sgt. Bruce Holliday of the Bashaw detachment said the Aug. 20 filming was intended to highlight the support units that go into a rural investigation. Using real police members and equipment is done in the hopes of adding to the legitimacy of the video.
“In the interest of showing the actual response and how the teams work together, we wanted to ensure that it was realistic and gives the rural folks a proper representation of the RCMP and its support units,” said Holliday.
He added that Mounties are passionate about the support of the rural crime watch groups in Alberta.
Wilson added that having real police officers in their day-to-day profession involved with the production has created a valuable addition to the film.
Police service dog Halo and his police handler were on scene to search out a “suspect” in the ATV theft scenario. To make it happen, Halo was given Duncan’s scent, plus an item to find, and then the police service dog was used to find that item.
It didn’t take long for Halo to find what he was looking for while the RCMP helicopter hovered around the scene. The 85-pound German shepherd appeared excited and eager to take part. Wilson was in the helicopter for a portion of the filming.
Once the videos are ready they will be showcased on the rural crime watch site at www.ruralcrimewatch.ab.ca.