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Community Street Ambassadors common sight in Lac La Biche during summer months

By scooters or by foot, Lac La Biche County street ambassadors provide extra sets of eyes and ears

LAC LA BICHE - Recognizable by their bright red shirts, navy-blue pants and dark jackets, Community Street Ambassadors (CSAs) have returned to Lac La Biche for the summer months.  

The program, which provides face-to-face assistance to visitors, local residents and business owners, began in 2019. 

This year, Nidaar Teng-Yang returns for her third season as a Community Street Ambassador. She is joined by Cadence Kruk. Starting in May and running until September, the program helps residents and business owners find answers to issues, directs visitors to local landmarks, and provides an extra set of eyes and ears for local law enforcement. Teng-Yang and Kruk can be spotted in the downtown core during weekdays either patrolling on foot or sometimes on electric scooters.   

It’s a fun job – and an important one, says Teng-Yang.  

“I am very grateful to be back for my third year as a Community Street Ambassador this summer,” she told Lakeland This Week, explaining that her experience as an ambassador has been just as exciting as in previous years. She said the ambassadors do more than patrol the community. They are also busy planning the Plamondon and Lac La Biche Bike Rodeos, and hosting school tours at Lac La Biche County’s Enforcement Services office. 

When asked if she has noticed any significant changes since last summer, Teng-Yang – who is currently completing a Bachelor of Education in French and has plans to teaching in a francophone school – said the main changes consist of new construction in the downtown core as well as a reduced number of peace officers, both of which, she continued, enhance the need for foot patrol by the ambassadors.  

“We are able to be present within the community to observe and report any issues to supplement the work that the Peace Officers do,” she said.  

A unique opportunity to learn about law enforcement and play an active role in the community in terms of safety and engaging with the public is what attracted Teng-Yang to the position.  

She enjoys getting to engage with the community and members of the business sector, whether that be through foot patrols or during community events.  

“I also appreciate being active outdoors during daily foot patrols and being a visible presence of law enforcement,” she explained. “In addition, we have the opportunity to maintain relations with students, youth throughout the summer and with business owners.” 

Cadence Kruk’s first year working as a community street ambassador has been rewarding so far and has given her the opportunity to engage with a variety of people from different walks of life.  

“So far, my favourite part of being a CSA is the engagement I get to have with the youth in the community, specifically through the school tours,” Kruk said.  

During her own school year, Kruk is a student at the University of Alberta’ Augustana campus, where she is working towards earning a degree in Psychology in the Mental Health and Wellness stream. After graduating from Augustana, she is looking to attend the University of Calgary to complete her degree.  

Kruk would like to have a career in the social work sector with youth aged 10-18 and is hoping her time as a community street ambassador will provide some much-needed experience.  

“This job will hopefully provide me with insight into the world of social work that I am planning on going into,” she said.  

Extra detail 

John Kokotilo, Manager of Lac La Biche County Protective Services and Acting Manager for Enforcement Services, said the Street Community Ambassador program is good for Lac La Biche as it is another resource for providing educational information to the public, as well as area schools.  

“They act as an additional “observer” in the instance of breaches to the Community Standards bylaw,” Kokotilo said, adding that street community ambassadors have reported several incidents that local bylaw and community peace officers were able to deal with in a very timely fashion.  

Kokotilo said street community ambassadors generally work a 40-hour week with some weekends when called upon for special events.  

The application process for the ambassador jobs is available each year. To get accepted into the Street Community Ambassador program, he explained, applicants must be pursuing post-secondary education with respect to law enforcement and/or social services.  



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