The 2018 goals and priorities of the local RCMP detachment were shared with Stettler town council during their meeting on March 20.
Detachment commander Sgt. Phil Penny attended the meeting to go over the RCMP’s annual performance plan.
This document is used to track the initiatives the Mounties are working on in a given year, with insight from both the local community as well as K Division out of Edmonton.
The 2018 initiatives have a similar focus to last year in the areas of intelligence lead policing, crime reduction and police visibility.
Intelligence lead policing uses confidential informants and judicial authorizations for things like warrants to deal with a variety of crimes.
Crime reduction looks at identifying who the habitual offenders are in a community and what measures can be taken with these individuals.
Police visibility includes a community relations element to address individual community requests. Examples include boat patrols at the summer villages or foot patrols in Big Valley.
The Stettler RCMP detachment also keeps track of initiatives handed down from K Division. These aim to assure the quality of investigations, with a further focus on missing persons cases, violent relationships and sexual assault investigations to ensure they are being handled according to standard.
Sgt. Penny also spoke of initiatives they’ve been working on outside of the performance plan. He would like to see more cooperation with the Bashaw RCMP detachment to coordinate on files involving habitual offenders in the area.
Regular check-ins with the probation office were also highlighted, so the Mounties are kept aware of community members with conditions such as curfews or house arrest.
Continuing patrols in the rural areas, commercial vehicle inspections and further cooperation with Alberta Fish & Wildlife officers were other goals mentioned.
After the presentation, councillors asked what the RCMP can do about habitual offenders. It was suggested that citizens contact their MLA about the rural crime issue, as they have access to the Solicitor General who oversees the provincial court system.
Council also asked about the likelihood of additional Mounties coming to Stettler, after the province recently announced $10 million dollars to hire 39 new officers.
Sgt. Penny said, “We are better staffed in Stettler than some other detachments in Alberta, so new officers may not be sent here under that model if that’s how they are divvied out.”
The town funds eight RCMP members, including the school resource officer. Two additional members can be requested for the larger area that are funded through the province. Three highway division officers were also mentioned, but these members are not always replaced.
Due to Stettler’s population size, the town provides 70 per cent of the funding for police officers, while the province covers the other 30 percent.
Following questions, council passed a motion to accept the RCMP’s annual performance plan for 2018/19.