Police boat patrols planned for Buffalo Lake this summer

Boaters on Buffalo Lake will have to watch out for special police boat patrols this summer in a new program to be launched in partnership between Bashaw RCMP and Stettler RCMP.

Boaters on Buffalo Lake will have to watch out for special police boat patrols this summer in a new program to be launched in partnership between Bashaw RCMP and Stettler RCMP.

“This year, we plan to have a police boat on Buffalo Lake after we train our officers,” Bashaw RCMP Sergeant Geoff Buxcey said as he addressed the County of Stettler council meeting March 10.

“Liquor is one of the biggest problems on the lake.”

“We want to have zero tolerance of liquor on the lake.”

Bashaw RCMP have occasionally been patrolling the lake on a boat used by Alberta Fish and Wlidlife branch, said.Sergeant Buxcey.

“I talked to Stettler RCMP Sergeant Rowland Schmidt and asked if they want to get involved and they are very interested and want to train two officers.”

Police presence throughout the detachment area –that stretches east to Donalda – is considered vital to helping curb crime.

“Visibility has greatly decreased our crime in Bashaw and other communities,” said Sergeant Buxcey.

“I want our officers to patrols towns and villages at least once a day.”

Public assistance is also a key component to help fight crime, he said, which is bolstered by the detachment’s community consultative group (CCG) that meets every three months where about 30 representatives of communities share ideas and concerns of crime.

“Citizens are the eyes and ears for the police,” said Sergeant Buxcey.

“Communication is key to our policing service,” he said.

“It’s a matter of the community and the police getting together to address concerns.”

“We gets lots of feedback and ideas from municipalities and citizens at these CCG meetings to help us better serve the community.”

This winter, snowmobiles on highways and heavy trucks on Highway 21 were two concerns by local residents that were presented to the CCG and police were able to raise their patrols to address the problem.

Guest speakers also present issues and programs to the CCG to provide valuable information.