| Feb 04, 2010

l-r; Bulls defenceman Bjorn Krupp, Sgt. Rob Ross, Andrew Freeburn, Doug Weese, Constables John Dyks and Jason Brown, Bulls forward Jan Kaminsky, and Sgt. Dick Welton

The Flinton Community Policing Committee held their sixth annual community fun day at the Flinton rink on Jan. 31 and though the turnout was less than in years past, those who came out had a chance to play with Belleville Bulls forward Jan Kaminksky and defenseman Bjorn Krupp, who was just recently signed with the Minnesota Wild, along with members of the OPP and the Addington Highlands Emergency Services teams.

Committee chair James Woods explained the purpose of the event. “It‘s a chance for local kids to get out and have some fun and is also an opportunity for them to get to know the emergency squads in their community and to develop relationships with them.”

The annual fun day is just one event that the committee organizes in their effort to keep youth in the community active and safe. This past summer Robert Wood, who is also a member of the committee, organized a baseball league for children ages 6-14, and 30 children participated last summer.

Earlier this week on Jan.27 the committee held their first meeting since June and members were joined by OPP constable Jason Browne who will working as the new community policing officer in Flinton. Const. Brown grew up in Enterprise and graduated as an OPP officer in 2007. He is thrilled to be working back near his home town and feels he understands the needs of smaller communities. He stressed that, “Often in smaller communities it’s hard to raise issues that need to be heard. My job is to listen to the needs of the community and to assist them in having those needs met.”

Carolyn Adams has two teenagers still living at home and is relatively new to Flinton, having just moved to the area last year. It was her first time attending a meeting and she raised some issues that she would like to see addressed. She was concerned about two vacant buildings in town; the old Davison garage and the old decrepit barn across from it. Both lie vacant and the latter appears unsafe. Adams is concerned that youth are using the buildings as local hang outs.

She summed up her concerns as a parent of teenagers in a small community. “I as a parent like to be at home with my kids and I like to open my home to other kids in the community. Real problems start when kids are kicked out of the house and are left with nothing to do. The reason I‘m here is that I agree that we have to find alternatives to offer these kids. I came tonight to become part of the community and am hoping to encourage my own kids and the kids who come to my house to get involved in the community and I feel that the best way I can do that is to come to these meetings.”

The meetings are off to a good start and many promising suggestions were discussed, including the possibity of  purchasing weights and setting up an exercise room for kids to use. A suggestion was also made to offer school community credits to students who attend community meetings like these.

The next Flinton Community Policing meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 31.

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