Calgary neighborhood affiliation eyes safety cameras after out of doors rink vandalism – Calgary

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A new outdoor rink in the Northwest Calgary neighborhood has become a center of recreation in less than a year since it opened. But it recently had a black spot.

“There’s a lot of activity here and it’s nice to see a facility like this,” resident Ernie Clarke told Global News.

Clarke bought a home that now borders Hawkwood Community Park and remembers when it was a farmer’s field.

“When we were building, there were cows in that meadow behind it,” said the grandfather while watching his grandson skating.

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“Over the years we’ve seen this backcourt pretty much evolve into the soccer fields at first. And then they tried the community rink for a couple of years.”

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Heather Kovach, program coordinator at the Hawkwood Community Association, said the outdoor ice rink and overall outdoor recreation facility project has been heavily used by the community since its completion in 2022.

“They are here all the time and bring their families and grandparents with their grandchildren,” Kovach said.

“The goal was to create a place where people could gather, socialize and be active. And that is exactly what caused this.”

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Graffiti on an ice rink at the Hawkwood Community outdoor ice rink in Calgary.

provided / Hawkwood Community Association

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Damage to a rink display at Hawkwood Community’s outdoor ice rink in Calgary.

provided / Hawkwood Community Association

When the outdoor rink was sprayed with vulgar graffiti and a rink advertisement was literally defaced, Clarke was disappointed.

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“So much work has gone into development with volunteers and the community association. You just hate to see something like that happen when you’ve put so much effort into it.”

The graffiti was removed immediately and the community association set about discouraging anyone from defacing or damaging the facilities. Their solution: security cameras.

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“The aim of the cameras is not necessarily the graffiti, but the protection of the infrastructure,” said Kovach.

“We’re not big brothers. We have no interest in monitoring people’s behavior. We just want the entire community to be able to enjoy the park.”

The community association said the five surveillance cameras will only focus on the outdoor recreation facility and will not include surrounding homes. The cameras are connected directly to recording devices. And all the images will not be released publicly for Name and Shame, but could be used if the police need to intervene.


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“We’re a volunteer organization run by volunteers, so we can’t be here all the time. So if someone reports something, we can go in and look at it on camera, and then we can actually get involved,” Kovach said.

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The Calgary Police Service said a quality CCTV system can be a consideration for surveilling a facility, as can a monitored security system.

“The installation of CCTV or security systems can both help deter crime on premises and assist investigators in the event of an incident,” CPS said in a statement.

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Clarke says the recreational facilities that have been built in the four decades since he moved to Hawkwood really contribute to the community.

“There is nothing better than a facility like this for the children in the community,” he said. “They do their skateboarding programs in the summer and they have soccer here. There’s baseball times, the little timbit football players. I love to see her.”

Kovach said the community association is “incredibly proud” of the recreational facility and most visitors have been respectful of its use.

“We would rather spend money to improve the park than remove graffiti.”

–with files from Norma Reid, Global News

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.