Policing priorities unchanged

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Crime reduction initiatives, community policing, and drug reduction remain the three top priorities for High Prairie town council in 2021.

High Prairie RCMP S/Sgt. Warren Wright attended council’s Feb. 23 meeting to hear the wishes of council as far as this year’s priorities are. He heard there was no change from last year.

Wright wrote council Feb. 15 in preparation for the meeting. The priorities help him develop an Annual Performance Plan for the detachment.

Wright wrote there was success in dealing with last year’s priorities.

“Although addressing last year’s policing priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic were met with some challenges, each priority was addressed to some degree,” he wrote.

He requested council’s priorities be returned to him by March 19.

Wright added other areas of concern not in the top three will still be considered and monitored.

Another aspect of the plan is community engagement, which was recently completed. Wright reported response was “underwhelming” with fewer than 10 responses, and that the next attempt will be made around July.

The good news. . .

  • Wright reported on a recent warrant round up, which resulted in 105 warrants issued.
  • A corporal is moving to town in April and will be placed full-time in the drug enhancement unit.
  • The new dog handler, Scott MacLeod, is enjoying his stay in the region. “Amazing,” said Wright. “We are so pleased and grateful to have him. He loves his job. We can’t wipe the smile off his face.”

The bad news. . .

  • Wright reported that heroin and fentanyl [a form of opiod] has “popped up” in High Prairie. He added he would like to “get ahead of that as soon as possible.”
  • Wright told council his request for a traffic enforcement position was denied so he will have to make due with available resources. He added he can offer overtime to younger RCMP members who can work with the Town’s senior peace officer, Alan Bloom. Mayor Brian Panasiuk was disappointed. He noted council will continue to lobby for the position.

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