BLC names traffic, drugs top priorities

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Crime prevention, traffic safety and reducing illegal drug activity are the top three priorities Big Lakes County has set for High Prairie RCMP and Faust RCMP.

At its regular meeting Feb. 24, council set the priorities for the year ending March 31, 2022.

Council has asked RCMP to focus on crime prevention and repeat offender specific to property crime, rural crime, response time and persons crime as its top priority.

Council responded to a letter from High Prairie RCMP S/Sgt. Warren Wright, who asked council to set its priorities.

Traffic safety and all-terrain vehicles [ATVS] are the second priority.

Efforts to reduce illegal drug activity through education and enforcement are the third priority.

They are the same priorities from the 2020-21 year that was noted by Wright in a letter to council.

“There are some areas [in the county] where rural crime is still a problem,” Reeve Ken Matthews says.

Irresponsible ATV driving is a major concern of council expressed by council members for the past few years.

Faust Councillor Robert Nygaard suggests citizens be a partner with police.

“If you want to help police with the ATV issue, Warren suggests people report names to the RCMP,” Nygaard says.

“If you phone the RCMP, you can help them.”

Wright is consulting local governments in the detachment region to compile one list of priorities by April 1.

“Although addressing policing priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic were met with some challenges,” Wright says in a letter to council.

“Each priority was addressed to some degree.”

“It is noted that areas not considered in the top three policing priorities will still be monitored and dealt with as they present themselves,” Wright says.

“However, most of our proactive time will be focused on the three highest priorities as identified by our communities.”

Priorities are separate from the enhanced policing memorandum of understanding that focuses on drug enforcement and reduction, Wright states.

He suggested council consider other priorities are [but not limited to]:

  • -Police community relations and police visibility [deterring crime and fostering police community relations].
  • -Elder safety such as fraud prevention/education.

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