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Safety under review after flashing at pool

A Grande Prairie mother is concerned about the protocol at the Eastlink Centre when it comes to complaints. Jennifer Buller says she was with her children at the facility at the beginning of November when a man allegedly indecently exposed himself to them underwater. Her 9 year old daughter was diving under the water with goggles on and when they got out of the pool, she told Buller what she had seen.

“I found a lifeguard right away. They wanted to know where this fellow was. I tried to find him but he got out of there a lot faster than I did with my kids. She went and found the head lifeguard. Within five minutes, the head lifeguard found me and I had to fill out a statement of what happened.”

The mother was concerned that there were no security guards on at the time.

Buller says she contacted RCMP a few days later and followed up with the managers at the Eastlink Centre. They assured her that they would be able to look at surveillance footage. Shortly after, she was told that the images were blurry and they were unable to see the man.

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Community Living Director Garry Roth says they do have systems in place to keep Eastlink Centre visitors safe. This includes their security cameras.

“The system at Eastlink was state of the art when it was installed about 5 years ago when we opened the facility. It is a digital system and it is decent quality. The problem is it is a large facility. We have lots of cameras but could always use more.”

He adds that it is a balance of having the right amount of cameras and covering the right areas.

Roth says when someone is concerned about something in the pool, they can let a lifeguard know. A supervisor or head lifeguard will identify everyone involved and will get a statement from them. He explains that the staff will provide any information needed to RCMP when asked but police need to be notified by the person filing the complaint.

The director says they have security guards throughout the building but they are only on shift during peak times of the day. He says that varies from day to day.

Mayor Bill Given feels angry that something like this would happen in the pool and says the city is taking the incident very seriously. He says he has heard of problems on public streets and libraries in other communities which highlights that things can happen anywhere.

City administration will be looking into the protocols and safety at the facility. They will be bringing information back in January 2017.

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