Three Hills RCMP visited Elnora council to get acquainted with each other and learn what is important to the community in light of the annual priorities list and performance review set out by police.
Sgt. Jamie Day and Cst. Lindsay Ferrier were in attendance to kick off the regular monthly meeting on Tues. March 9.
This type of meeting is the fourth one Sgt. Day has attended, bringing various members with him as a way of getting council used to the detachment presence.
The Sgt. mentioned he and Const. Farrier was ‘very familiar with small town living’ as he grew up in Nova Scotia and has now been a detachment commander for five years while she grew up in Ontario.
The annual performance review is focused on community involvement and can be adjusted at any time to better reflect that location’s needs.
For Elnora he encouraged feedback, wanting to understand pertinent issues in this area.
Council agreed there was a noticeable lack of effort from the last commander where quarterly reports were not sent and attendance for meetings or criminal activity was low.
“The goal is to show the work we are doing and what we are doing to focus on your community,” said Sgt. Day.
“We were told it couldn’t be done for Elnora,” said Mayor Leah Nelson.
Council was told that previous ways of conducting business were going to be improved upon.
He asked how many days the councillors thought the RCMP were in the area over the last month.
Varied answers from one to two times per week were given.
The Sgt. shared that Elnora received the second most amount of time at 19 visits out of 28 days.
Delburne was the most at a full month due to a satellite office being stationed there for a member.
He revealed that the detachment is over full capacity for members, having an additional person as well.
This has helped in showing more presence in many areas across the detachment.
He added that current strategies against the battle of rural crime have been successful with a drop in activity as every possible resource is being implemented.
Recently, Three Hills and Trochu were ‘hit hard’ by license plate thefts as well as one case in the village.
The Sgt. was adamant people need to call in any suspicious activity as report data can show spikes in crime which leads to more police presence.
“I cannot help you if you don’t phone in,” he said.
A joint operation between Kneehill County, Red Deer County and Three Hills RCMP is now underway as well.
Council was encouraged by the efforts of Sgt. Day, thankful for the chance to meet in person for comfortability.
“It’s nice as a resident to know your guy’s names,” said Dep. Mayor Kerrilyn Mose.
“That’s what we are trying to get back to,” he replied.
A large part of the conversation revolved around school involvement and School Resource Officers (SRO).
Many municipalities in the area are talking about committing dollars to have SROs back in the schools once they are allowed to with lifting COVID-19 restrictions.
Currently, officers stay out of the schools unless ‘absolutely necessary.’
Council spoke of the ‘huge difference it made’ to have an officer present within the schools.
Sgt. Day shared he is trying everything in his power to get an SRO back to schools without causing more financial burden on municipalities.
He added this is still in the very early stages but is on the radar.