Friday, November 22, 2013

Stand Up, Speak Out - Bullying Awareness Week, 2013

The Waterloo Regional Police Service launched the Stand Up, Speak Out anti-bullying contest back in January, of this year. Elementary School students, as well as High School students were encouraged to contribute for a chance to win prizes. Participants were asked to create and submit an anti-bullying message by means of a video, art or word. 

After reviewing hundreds of outstanding submissions, the winners of the Stand Up, Speak Out contest were selected in June. Congratulations to all contributors - the judges were extremely impressed with each submission's thoughtfulness and originality! 

This year's Bullying Awareness Week (November 17-23) theme was "Stand Up! (to bullying)." We thought we would take this opportunity to share some of the award-winning submissions to conclude this year's Bullying Awareness Week:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lesson Learned

I got lost last weekend in Michigan. I’m over fifty now so getting lost trying to find a hockey rink around Detroit, isn’t surprising.  While searching for it, I ended up passing Romulus High School.

On their front lawn I noticed a massive wave of bright yellow flags stuck in the ground on the school property. There were hundreds or maybe even thousands of them waving in the wind, demanding attention.

They covered the property and even at a distance were impossible to miss.

“Check this out,” I said having no clue what the occasion was.

As I slowed I read a banner amidst the yellow flags that said in large letters Bullied.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Keeping Your Children Safe - Just In Time For Halloween

Halloween is upon us! This festive evening of trick-or-treating falls on a Thursday this October 31st, 2013. With strong winds and rain in the forecast, Waterloo Regional Police are urging the community to be extra cautious this "All Hallows' Eve."

Halloween provides the perfect opportunity for parents and guardians to introduce and/or reinforce important safety strategies.

Halloween-Specific Safety Strategies:


  • For children/parents - Be sure that kids are able to see and be seen by others. Costumes should fit properly and not restrict a child's mobility, or hinder their vision. Equipping your child with glow sticks is a fun and easy way for kids to maintain visibility. Anything reflective or "glow in the dark" is effective as well.
  • For all participating home-owners - if you're expecting trick-or-treaters' and participating in the fun, it will be most helpful if driveways and walkways are well lit and uncluttered.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Nextdoor - A Modern Twist To Neighbourhood Watch?

     Even though we use a different spelling for the word "neighbourhood," I think Canadians would find the Nextdoor social tool to be just as valuable as their American neighbours. Nextdoor is a free, private social network with an app available on Android and Apple iOs devices that connects neighbours to build a stronger and safer community.
     There are already 19 000 registered Nextdoor neighbourhoods in the United States. It is currently only available in the US, however there are reports that the California-based company is preparing to expand globally this year.
Photo courtesy of Nextdoor

     Nextdoor has created a private environment designed for just you and your neighbours to communicate, share information and connect with. Each member must verify their address to join, through credit card confirmation or by having the company send you a postcard that you can then verify you have received. This is not your typical social network to connect virtually with family, friends and acquaintances - Nextdoor is strictly about connecting with the people who live around you.

Benefits: Strengthening Communities

The Spirit of "Community"
     Nextdoor represents a mutual alliance amongst residents. A shared, common interest in keeping the community harmonious and crime free builds a sense of trust and security.

Digital Crime Prevention
     Safe communities are locally organized, well informed about relevant risks and proactive in prevention. Nextdoor enables the flow of communication.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Social Media Applications on Law Enforcement Radar

4 observations concerning the online behaviour of youth

1. They're multitasking - on several social media platforms at once.

With so many social media networking applications popping up, it has become a daunting task for parents to monitor their child's online activity. It is very rare that a young person has just a Facebook account, or just a Twitter profile. Instead the majority of youth have many accounts on the go, all at once.

In fact, Facebook's dwindling usage is believed to be on the decline not because teens are flocking to a particular social network, but because they are increasingly using a variety of applications.

2. They're mobile. Teens represent the leading edge of mobile connectivity.

According to a 2013 Teens and Technology study at the Harvard University, Berman Center for Internet and Society, it was recognized that smartphone adoption among teens has increased substantially and mobile access to the internet is pervasive. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

An Integrated Approach to Mental Health & Crisis Response

To facilitate collaboration between police and mental health professionals in crisis cases, the Waterloo Regional Police Service along with the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network have developed the Specialized Crisis Team.

     With officers spending an increasing amount of time on calls related to mental health issues there was a demonstrated need for a better method of action. In 2011 alone Waterloo Regional Police Service responded to over 2, 000 calls for service relating to attempted suicides and mental health concerns; more than half of those calls resulted in the individual in crisis being transported to hospital. It is believed that roughly 360 of those individuals could have been served through other community supports, allowing the responding officer to return to patrol in the community. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

How You Can Protect Your Property During The Summer Months

With the summer holidays just around the corner, here's how you can be proactive and decrease the risk of falling victim of property theft. In time for the first long weekend of summer, we've compiled a number of considerations:


On Monday June 24th, the Waterloo Regional Police reported that seven unlocked vehicles were entered in a Kitchener neighbourhood. Simply, be sure to lock all vehicles and property, and improve physical barriers to entry.


As the summer holidays get underway and the weather turns warm, most plan to take extended periods of time off. If your summer activities include being away from home, it is important for you to ensure your house has that "lived-in look." For example, the Waterloo Regional Police Service suggest cancelling any deliveries, installing motion-sensitive lights with timers and asking a neighbour to collect mail and keep an eye on your property.


These days, technology - the form of Twitter, Facebook, GPS-enabled cell phones, blogs - has created more ways to divulge sensitive information and has made it available to an exponentially larger audience.