Prince Albert business owner hosts first free presentation encouraging residents to report crime

Prince Albert businessman Leo Ekhaguere gives a presentation to residents at Point West Living in Prince Albert on Tuesday, Feb. 27. -- Submitted photo.

A Prince Albert business owner held the first of what he hopes are many free monthly security presentations on Tuesday.

Lions Security president and CEO Leo Ekhaguere said the goal is to help decrease crime and increase community safety.

“Prince Albert is a city that is known for crime, and we don’t want our city to have such a reputation,” Ekhaguere said. “We want to change the narrative. We want to increase the visibility of our city and portray our city in a good light.”

Ekhaguere spoke at Point West Living in Prince Albert on Tuesday where he discussed safety and security tips, including how to recognize, prevent, and report crime. He said the last item is a major problem in Prince Albert. He’s been told multiple times by residents that police don’t respond when called to a crime.

In his own experience, however, Ekahguere said he’s received a prompt response whenever he called the police. He said that may have been true in the past, but the current police service is very active.

The most recent incident came when he reported concerns about a potential break-and-enter in late January. Ekahguere said the police took the report seriously.

“I speak as a private citizen, not as an owner of a security company,” he said. “They responded very fast.”

One of the biggest changes Ekhaguere would like to see residents make is to program the non-emergency police number into their phones, as well as fire services and Crimestoppers numbers. He said 9-1-1 is the best option for serious crimes, but sometimes residents call 9-1-1 when they don’t need to. He said it’s important for residents to know when other avenues are appropriate.

“The more people who are knowledgeable about how to prevent crimes, the more we have crime reduction,” he said. “I can tell you that not many residents have on their phone the police phone number. What most people have is 9-1-1. They just dial 9-1-1. That’s it, but that is not enough.”

Ekhaguere decided to start holding free monthly presentations after discussions with Prince Albert police about reducing crime and increasing public safety. He said helping residents recognize and report signs of crime can empower them to keep their neighbourhoods safe.

“This information is very important for our city,” he said. “We understand that knowledge is power.”

Beyond having emergency service numbers saved on their phone, Ekhaguere said there are several other simple measures residents can take to improve safety. He recommends residents get to know their neighbours so they can watch out for each other and deter property crime. He also suggests residents avoid giving out personal information to unknown sources or individuals, and urges residents to not be shy about reporting things that make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

The outreach effort is one of several Ekhaguere has planned to help increase public safety and public awareness in the community.

Residents can reach Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477. The City of Prince Albert Police Service non-emergency number is 1-306-953-4222, and the Prince Albert Fire Department number is 306-953-4200.