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Stettler RCMP aims to improve safety

Participates in Central Alberta District Crime Reduction Symposium in Camrose

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Independent

Stettler’s top cop attended the Central Alberta District Crime Reduction Symposium in Camrose on Oct. 2 and 3, council heard during the Nov.6 meeting.

The symposium, which featured presenters from the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC) based in Montreal, brought together law enforcement professionals and municipal stakeholders to work on crime reduction in the region.

“It’s not what we were expecting,” said RCMP Sgt. Phil Penny during his update to council. “We are doing what is beyond their recommendations,” citing several examples of initiatives currently being undertaken by provincial RCMP.

One of the initiatives the RCMP is currently working on deals with habitual offenders. Offenders who are currently serving their sentence in the community, such as those on probation or house arrest, are being checked in on regularly by the Stettler Detachment members to ensure they are following the conditions of their release to the community. With four of the six recent offenders that the RCMP followed completing their sentences with no breaches, Sgt. Penny considers the initiative to be a success.

RELATED: Stettler RCMP review Annual Performance Plan with Town Council

Sgt. Phil Penny attended council on March 20 to go over the RCMP’s goals and priorities for 2018

Another initiative the local RCMP have been involved in is an emphasis on cross-training with their law enforcement partners.

“We have success working with our partners,” said Sgt. Penny, citing members from the local detachment learning from members of the Department of Transportation, and Fisheries and Wildlife as two recent examples.

In addition to the cross-training and keeping focus on habitual offenders, the Stettler RCMP are working with neighbouring jurisdictions and specialized units to execute search warrants in the region. Seven search warrants have been served since April, and Sgt. Penny indicated that more may be on the way. The most recent warrant was executed late last month and had two people charged with drug trafficking and possession of Cocaine and Methamphetamines, with more charges possibly pending.

“There is an effort going on behind the scenes to improve policing,” said Coun. Gord Lawlor, who also attended the Camrose Symposium. “You have to start somewhere. It’s a great place to start.”