The Town of Sexsmith is looking for information or witnesses after multiple fires were set at port-a-potties at or near the skateboard park or community centre.
Sexsmith Mayor Kate Potter says seeing something like that happen makes her feel discouraged and disheartened.
“The community is built on volunteerism and looking out for one another. It’s too bad that people feel like that is an appropriate way to express themselves.”
This is not a new occurrence in the town, as Potter notes, it seems to happen in cycles.
“We go through periods where we have a rash in vandalism acts and then it’ll quiet down. Sometimes it’s younger people who are less mature and they learn to stop. I’ve heard from RCMP in their reports that there could be groups of people who rotate through the region. We don’t know for sure if that’s the case here,” she says.
Members of the community are hypervigilant right now and Potter thanks them for reporting these acts to the authorities, but there is a toll to all of this.
“We think of our fire department that has to respond to calls like these. That’s a waste of time and money. We’re glad the recent items that have been set on fire have been caught quickly and no damage has been done to the surrounding areas. All of the recent vandalism acts have been reported by citizens,” she says.
Potter is not sure what the thought behind the acts of vandalism is but she remains optimistic that the community will get through it.
“Often times I don’t believe that they are thinking. They might just be bored or looking for excitement, or maybe they enjoy setting things on fire. I’m hopeful that if it is young people that parents or mentors will step up and help them learn. If it’s other people, that can still happen. I hope they know that what they’ve done doesn’t define them,” she adds
People can call 911 if they see a dangerous situation. There is also a Citizens on Patrol group in Sexsmith, which people can join and the Town Office can also be called. The Town is offering a $400 reward for information to capture those that vandalized public property.