Police positive about partners

While crime was up slightly in the region last year and major crime was down for Stettler RCMP, local people are committed to build local partnerships to create safer communities.

While crime was up slightly in the region last year and major crime was down for Stettler RCMP, local people are committed to build local partnerships to create safer communities.

Overall, calls for police service rose slightly to 3,946, states Stettler RCMP Sergeant Rowland Schmidt states in his year-end reported that he discussed with Town of Stettler council at its regular meeting Feb. 16.

That’s up marginally from 3,927 from the year before.

However, police recorded 1,301 criminal, drug and federal crimes, down from 1,554 from 2008.

“Our overall criminal workload fell by 16 per cent,” said Sergeant Schmidt.

This same trend was seen with work done in the Town of Stettler while the County of Stettler saw crime rise but total calls drop.

“We are always open to more proactive policing.”

“We want to host a public forum to tell people about illegal drugs.”

As major goals for the year, Stettler RCMP was on target with reducing traffic violations using 33 different initiatives although it fell short of its target to curtail drug activity through 29 different strategies.

“We are working hard on these issues and there will be results,” said Sargeant Schmidt.

In the Town of Stettler assaults were up from 96 to 127 which are mostly fights, while break-ins, thefts and vandalism were down,”

In the County of Stettler, assaults and vandalism were down and thefts were up.

For the villages, crime stayed about the same level as the previous year or went down except in the Summer Village of White Sands.

Police were kept busy on the region’s roadways.

“Total collisions and collisions with injuries went up in 2009 in both the Town of Stettler and in the County of Stettler,” said Sergeant Schmidt.

Collisions in the town rose by 22 percent with 274, while collisions in the county were down by two per cent with 358, mainly with motorists hitting animals on the roads.”

Criminal traffic charges and provincial traffic tickets increased in the town and decreased in the county areas, he said.

Police value assistance from the community.

“To foster open dialogue with our communities, we have maintained the police advisory committee that meets every few months to discuss policing issues and local solutions.”

“Citizens on Patrol remains active with a core group of active volunteers,” said Sergeant Schmidt.

They give of their time patrolling in Stettler and the outlying communities which provides valuable information to the detachment about observed misbehaviour and criminal activity.

Victims are also supported and assisted.

“Heartland Victim Services remains committed to provide assistance to victims of crime.

Their long list of help includes preparing witnesses for court, assisting victims to apply for restitution or help them prepare victim impact statements.