The Block Parent Program has been on Warfield Mayor Diane Langman’s to-do list for awhile now.
Reviving the program moved up the ranks quicker than anticipated this week after a disturbing report was issued by the Trail RCMP on Wednesday.
Police alerted the school district and media that four children were walking home from school in Warfield on Tuesday, when they came across a male exposing himself.
RCMP investigated the incident, but a suspect has not been identified or arrested.
“One of the things that I have been thinking about a lot lately is the Block Parent Program that was around when I was a kid,” Langman began.
Block parents have to go through criminal record checks with the RCMP. From there, if approved, they would be permitted to place a sign in their front window, or door, indicating the home is a safe spot for children or seniors to go if they need help.
“In a small community such as Warfield, I think that this program would thrive and we would have significant interest,” Langman said. “Especially with having a community school in Warfield where our residents are active and walk, whether it’s to and from school or for recreation.”
Langman said she will be bringing this idea forward to Webster PAC, Webster Elementary School and the police.
“To open the dialogue and hopefully inspire other communities to renew this program in our area,” she added. “I want to help ensure that our residents, young and old, feel safe in our community.”
According to a Trail RCMP press release, the detachment received a report on Oct. 9, that four children were walking home from Webster School on Lauriente Way when they came across a male exposing himself just off to the side of a paved foot path.
The male is described as Caucasian, between 20 and 30 years old, 5 ft. 11 in., dirty looking, and skinny. His clothes looked baggy and he was wearing a black ball cap, black hoodie (or possibly a black t-shirt) and black jeans.
The children said they had not seen the man before.
Trail RCMP are monitoring the area and urge anyone with information to call the detachment at (250) 364-2566.
“It was very upsetting to hear about (this) event,” Langman said. “Warfield is a family-friendly community and we will continue to work with the RCMP and Webster Elementary School to ensure that not only our students, but all residents feel safe walking our streets and paths.”
The village commends the young students who witnessed this individual, engaged in inappropriate acts, for telling a parent or adult immediately so that the proper authorities could be contacted, she continued.
“These students showed great strength and courage in reporting what they witnessed and their parents should be incredibly proud of them,” said Langman. “The RCMP are continuing their investigation and I would like to remind students to please walk as a group, if you come across a situation such as this, remove yourself from the situation and immediately speak with a parent or trusted adult.”