Published in the May 8th issue of The Edmonton Sun. News
Unsung heroes recognized
Joseph Luri immigrated to Canada in 1997. Since then he has been hard at work ensuring that immigrant children don’t fall into a life of crime.
Luri is one of the many unsung heroes honoured on Friday at the province’s 19th annual crime prevention awards.
“I feel honoured, and also moved,” Luri said. “I’ve seen a lot of immigrant families that come and they don’t have time to give support to the children.”
“In most cases many of the children have gotten into crime, which is preventable.”
Luri co-ordinates weekend and after-school programs for immigrant youth at the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers at 11713 82 St. The programs help youth avoid getting into trouble.
“Immigrant children equally have a chance to succeed like any other Canadian child, but they need guidance,” he said.
Luri is no stranger to being awarded for his community efforts.
In 2007 he won the RISE award, which recognizes new immigrant success and excellence.
The crime prevention awards recognizes individuals, community organizers and police officers who went above and beyond to help prevent crime this past year.
“Crime prevention awards publicly recognizes outstanding individuals and groups who have helped reduce crime in this province through innovative programs and initiatives,” said Alberta solicitor general Frank Oberle.
“One of the most powerful tools that police have in their crime-fighting arsenal is a strong and active community.”
Const. Dale Brenneis who has been with the Edmonton police service for 29 years was also awarded Friday.
Brenneis works in the crime prevention unit, co-ordinating two programs that help keep apartment and condo buildings crime-free, as well as promoting healthy, safe communities through well-planned neighbourhood designs.
“We don’t do our job for the glory,” Brenneis said, motioning to his award. “We’re there to help people… to build communities strong.”
The crime prevention awards kicks off Alberta Crime Prevention Week, which runs from May 9 to 15 and is aimed at increasing awareness of crime prevention.
Through educational workshops and other activities, Crime Prevention Week encourages Albertans to help make communities safer.