RCMP have increased presence in Forestburg

Forestburg village council

Sgt. Judith Devoe reassured council members that RCMP members are in fact very active in Forestburg despite local resident claims of low visibility.

During their regular meeting on Wed., June 1 Devoe told council members that although “they can’t be everywhere all the time due to having 11 communities not including the county [under their watch] and only having five constables, one sergeant and one corporal, they have been out a lot more”.

Often during the wee hours of the morning when residents are asleep and unaware of their visit.
Devoe went on to explain that the claims of ignoring resident calls is often a case of lack of information and unwilling participation on the part  of the residents.

When the RCMP receive a call, several factors come into play.  The first being a case of priority.  For example, if they receive a call that there is someone speeding in Forestburg however they also receive a call that there is an alleged intoxicated driver in a neighbouring community, they will often prioritize the drunk driver.

Another factor is when people call in to report a driving infraction, however are unwilling to go to court to testify to the infraction they witnessed.  If a caller is unwilling to testify then a ticket cannot be given if there is no one to stand witness to a wrong that occurred.

Devoe said other problems include a caller not providing adequate information.  For instance, calling in to the RCMP but only providing the colour of a vehicle, not the license plate, model of vehicle or any distinguishing features about the driver make it almost impossible for the RCMP to locate the individual who has been reported.

“We are doing our job,” said Devoe who urges residents to call and speak with them directly regarding issues surrounding the apparent lack of faith in their policing, because it, “is in the town’s own mind”.

Council members thanked the RCMP for their increased presence and agreed that citizens needed to do their civic duty as well if they wanted to community to remain safe.

Passionate presentation

Ervin Siemen made a very passionate presentation to council regarding his concern for the speed limit at the crosswalk on 53rd street.

Seimen’s wants the speed limit reduced to 30 km an hour to avoid a tragedy that is currently waiting to happen.

“When you have a speed limit of 50 km/hr people go 70 km/hr, when you have a 100 km/hr people go 110 or 120 km/hr.”

Seimen’s feels that reducing the speed limit to 30 km/hr will at least reduce the speed to 50 km/hr for motorists.

Coun. Kurt Oberg inquired about the possibility of installing photo radar.  Discussion then ensued about who would cover that cost.

Sgt. Devoe who was on hand to deliver her own presentation said that the “RCMP doesn’t do that”.
Oberg then suggested talking to the County of Flagstaff about a partnership for photo radar cameras, specifically sharing the cost and having the cameras rotate amongst the communities.
Council assured Siemen the issue would be looked into and addressed.

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