A group being put together to patrol the streets of North Central will not start their walks earlier than expected despite some recent violent crimes.
“We really want to try to get out there a lot quicker but unfortunately it does take time to get everything prepared,” explained Shawna Oochoo, co-founder of the White Pony Lodge.
Oochoo said the group needs to make sure everyone is aware of the job they will be doing. Also, volunteers need to be trained.
The earliest the White Pony Lodge will begin patrolling the streets is June 17.
“As much as we want to be out there already, we can’t, but we want to get out there as quickly as possible,” said Oochoo.
The last two weeks have been violent in that Regina neighborhood. A 21-year-old man was shot and seriously injured outside a convenience store on Dewdney Avenue between Robinson and Retallack Streets on May 5. Regina police have charged three women in connection with that incident.
On Tuesday, Wilburn Campbell, 37, was found severely injured on the 1300 block of Elphinstone Street. Campbell was taken to hospital where he later died. Regina police confirmed Thursday his death is considered a murder.
There have been three homicides in Regina in 2016 and all have taken place in North Central.
Oochoo said it is always sad to hear about these types of incidents.
“We’re always saddened by the news, we’re always saddened when we lose somebody from our community or something happens to that extreme within our community.”
Oochoo said she believes the violence has been escalating in North Central over the past few years.
The idea of the White Pony Lodge came from a similar group in Winnipeg called the Bear Clan street patrol.
“We’re not trying to control anything or we’re not trying to enforce anything,” explained Oochoo. “We’re trying to lead by example through supporting our community and those who are affected by the violence.”
Oochoo is hopeful other community members will get involved and help create positive change.