With the second homicide occurring at a community hall in Calgary in the last 10 months, the safety of the halls has been called into question.
A deejay was rushed to hospital, where he later died, after an altercation at the Penbrooke Meadows Community Hall early Monday morning. The deejay was spinning records for a dominoes tournament, according to witnesses.
While this event was legitimate, the Federation of Calgary Communities says a number of community hall safety issues arise from the honesty of the groups renting the hall.
“Sometimes our people are told that (the renters) are going to have a birthday party or a 50th birthday party and it turns into an all-night rave. I think sometimes trust is a big piece, and if we believe the person is going to have a 50th birthday party or a wedding all of a sudden it could turn into this party where strangers are coming in,” said Leslie Evans, executive director of the FCC.
“Maybe better communication with the police and asking for a couple drive-bys will help, but that falls on the police’s shoulders and if they have time they do it, if they’re called out to something else, they don’t.”
Evans doesn’t see a way of eliminating people misusing community halls.
“If we start limiting groups or we start saying only people with security forces with them can rent our halls we’re playing into the whole notion that it is unsafe, when there are hundreds of events each month that only add value to our community associations,” said Evans.
A person was killed last September at the Albert Park/Radisson Heights community hall. It’s believed a wedding reception was being held at the time.
Repeated attempts to contact a Calgary Police Service community liaison officer for comment went unanswered.