New top cop in Bashaw

There’s a new top cop in Bashaw and he aims to target crime through preventative measures.
“There are a lot of things we are going to do from a pro-active policing perspective,” Bashaw Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant (S/Sgt.). Bruce Holliday told Bashaw council during its regular meeting Jan. 26.
S/Sgt. Holliday, who took command in Bashaw earlier in January, used the Bashaw Hotel fire as an example. He said after the fire RCMP Major Crimes came in and did neighbourhood inquiries going to every residence in the community.
“That’s one of the things we can do when we have disasters or criminal acts like that.
“The only way for us to be good pro-active police officers is to talk to people,” he added.
“You tell me where the problems are. What we are doing. What we are not doing. What you would like to see from us.”
To be more efficient with time and resources S/Sgt. Holliday said the Bashaw RCMP will visit all the businesses in town and, using Google Maps, will highlight the points of access in and out of town and indicate where all surveillance cameras are located.
In addition, they will collect information such as how long surveillance video is retained by businesses and the name of the contact person.
“We will build that into a briefing package. If we have a robbery I could tell investigators ‘go to this this business and those businesses’ and get video surveillance.
“We will be able to focus our efforts.”
This is helpful in terms of the description of suspects and vehicles.
S/Sgt. Holliday, who has a background as corporate security advisor for emergency planning and response for government before joining the RCMP, said this planning will save time and resources when crime occurs.
Often, however, fighting crime is about shifting where criminal activity occurs.
“We displace things,” said S/Sgt. Holliday. “Sometimes the problem people move away. When the crush is put on criminals in Red Deer they spill out to Sylvan Lake, Bentley and Rimbey. All the smaller communities are experiencing some extent of the crime that used to be focused in larger centres, he said.
Criminals are also drawn to smaller communities where the people are most trusting, leaving keys in vehicles and doors unlocked. Both auto theft and fuel theft are a problem in smaller and rural communities.
S/Sgt. Holliday said he has already spoken with a lot of Bashaw residents and he’s “not hearing a lot of bad things.” He said he has worked in both Fort McMurray and Red Deer where there is significant criminal activity.
In Bashaw it’s manageable and police can address it with the help of the community and rural crime watch.
S/Sgt. Holliday started his RCMP career in Drumheller.
From there he transferred to Fort McMurray where he worked in serious crimes such as homicides and robberies then to the Alberta law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) for a total of six years in Fort McMurray. While there he was promoted to corporal.
He was then transferred to Red Deer and worked for three years in the Red Deer RCMP Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (an ALERT team) before coming to Bashaw this year.
“I came to the point in my life where I wanted to return to street level policing and leave the plain clothes world and take what the very experienced and wonderful people taught me over time and bring that to my young and enthusiastic members.”
Bashaw RCMP Detachment has four constables and the S/Sgt. and a detachment assistant.
Bashaw RCMP covers Alix, Bashaw, Buffalo Lake Estates, Donalda, Dorenlee, Edberg, Ferintosh, Meeting Creek, Mirror, Pelican Point and Tees.
Bashaw Mayor Penny Shantz welcomed S/Sgt. Holliday saying “A very warm welcome to you and your family.”

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