RCMP detachment commander returns to Stettler

The Stettler RCMP Detachment has a new detachment commander with the addition of Sgt. Phil Penny. Penny, who originates from Stettler, was stationed in Blackfalds before relocating to Stettler.

Penny, who introduced himself at the Nov. 3 Stettler council meeting, has spent 14 years on the force with stop overs in Banff, Alberta, Pond Inlet and Whale Cove, Nunavut and Blackfalds.

Visibility of RCMP members in the community is a priority for Penny, as well as encouraging members to excel in their area of interest. Streamlining internal work to utilize computer systems rather than paper is also a goal for Penny.

Traffic enforcement remains as one of council’s top priorities and Penny agreed that having the RCMP out in the community has an immediate impact on the behaviour of drivers.

Safe streets important
“People are frustrated,” remarked Kelsey McNeill as the 68 Street resident joined neighbour Tracey Marko to address council about safety issues in the West Stettler residential neighbourhood.

McNeill and Marko spoke on behalf of a contingent of over a dozen residents who attended the meeting to plead for solutions to an ongoing, Stettler-wide problem.

Between cars racing down the wide, straight stretch of road and construction traffic passing through to new development areas, the road has become hazardous for children and adults attempting to cross or walk down the street.

There are no sidewalks on either side of the street and vehicles parked on both sides of the street mean that anyone walking ends up on the street.

Because of traffic congestion, residents argue the 50-kilometre speed limit is too high and want to see it reduced to 30km per hour.

Director of Operations Melissa Robbins, who attended the meeting, suggested that placing a traffic counter in the area to gather data about speeds, time of day and number of cars would assist both the town and the RCMP in deciding how to tackle the problem.

Because the town’s current traffic counter is no long working, council is considering options to find a temporary solution until the town buys a new one.

“It’s a town wide issue,” remarked Coun. Will Brown, stating there are no consequences for those speeding down town streets if they are not caught.

Sgt. Perry acknowledged that a greater presence of RCMP members cruising neighbourhoods would be proactive in curbing the behaviour.

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