Monday, May 2, 2016

Pincher Creek Town Council hears RCMP detachment report

Toni Lucas

Council for the Town of Pincher Creek met during the regular meeting on Monday, April 25. Local RCMP Detachment Commander Sgt. Mark Harrison presented council with a detailed report to the Mayor and council members with a three year statistical analysis of the detachment and an overview the first quarter of 2016.

Harrison told the council the number of members currently employed, ranks and positions, current vehicles the detachment holds, and said they are going to put in a request for a boat to help patrol in Waterton and back country areas and Oldman Dam. "I've just been here three weeks, and it is fairly obvious we need a boat in my opinion, in this detachment, so we will be putting forward a business case to get a boat in the area, and again, it will increase our ability to respond to any search and rescue, whether it is in Waterton, or out west here."

He said calls for service have remained pretty steady year over year, with 2,997 for 2014 and 2,797 in 2015. Some other information comparing the two years included:
  • Traffic collisions 2014 - 260, 2015 - 266
  • Liquor act offences 2014 - 191, 2015 - 196
  • Mischief 2014 - 132, 2015 - 145
  • Disturbing the peace 2014 - 138, 2015 - 123
In regards to traffic enforcement, he said, "We are writing more tickets, there are more violation tickets going out by the members in the office, which is a good thing, and I expect that to rise even further now that I'm here."

One of the items discussed was the level of clearance rates of crimes. "Clearance rates, we're right in with the Provincial averages," adding personal crimes clearance rates were 73% for 2015. "It indicates to me that the community is involved in solving crimes," explaining that the more cooperation the public gives them the more likely it is for the officers to be able to clear crimes.

"Expect for 2016 the drug enforcement stats will go up, we are making that a priority within the detachment for enforcement, with your approval, of course. That is one thing I really want to see the members go after this year." He also mentioned to the councilors that the legalization of marijuana is possible within the next few years.

He told the council the Pincher Creek Detachment is also responsible for the the policing of Waterton. As they are projecting a half a million visitors in the park this year, he has arranged for 4 members to be based out of the Waterton Detachment, "The oldest operating detachment in Canada." He said there will be an open house of that detachment on Tuesday, May 10, including a flag raising at 2:00 pm. "Supervision comes back to us, detachment, equipment, and we are also responsible for a building out there. Just so you are aware, all of that comes back to Pincher Creek Detachment. Part of your policing is Waterton as well."

He said he has been in contact with various individuals, groups and organizations in the area to better understand the needs and priorities of the community. He listed three of the top identified concerns he has heard from local people are drug enforcement, traffic enforcement, and community visibility. "These are kind of the top three that come up for the community that I've spoken to." He said he sees these as having a priority in an upcoming performance plan he is formulating for detachment goals.

Harrison said council can expect a quarterly report from the detachment going forward.

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