Kneehill County council told the Three Hills RCMP commander they appreciate his detachment’s efforts to be visible and accessible in the community.
Sgt. Jamie Day made his regular report to councillors at their March 8 council meeting.
Day, non-commissioned officer (NCO) in charge of Three Hills detachment, stated he was officially attending council to discuss the 2022-23 annual performance plan, but touched on many different topics in his presentation.
He mentioned the focus list Kneehill had provided him. The sergeant noted his detachment made a lot of progress with last year’s plan, especially in the rural crime area.
Day stated, with the help of a police officer dedicated to rural crime, a big impact has been made.
“We’ve seen a 33 per cent decrease in rural crime,” said Day.
However, Day reported RCMP in the area have reported an increase in persons crimes, which would include charges such as assault, and also seen an increase in domestic violence incidents.
The sergeant stated the detachment is working with the victim services unit to bring Dr. Jody Carrington into the community for a presentation about domestic violence to older youth.
Day noted the detachment would be happy to help bring some information sessions to the area, including one on train derailment.
Also, RCMP are working with stakeholders on providing more supports for mental health issues, including an RCMP program which pairs a police officer with a nurse.
Day stated the number of mental health calls has “increased dramatically,” especially those involving adults.
Day pointed out though, that he’s had trouble getting feedback from the community and every avenue he’s tried has received little response. He’s said he’s taking that as a good sign that people are happy with the work of the Three Hills detachment.
However, he asked councillors if they hear a resident voicing a concern to have them contact the detachment.
Deputy Reeve Ken King, who was chairing the council meeting, stated he feels Kneehill’s relationship with the Three Hills RCMP has greatly improved since Day took over and was grateful for that.
“What you’re doing is being noticed,” said King. “Putting a face to our police officers is so important.”
Coun. Wade Christie stated he appreciated the RCMP being more visible and approachable.
Coun. Laura Lee Machell-Cunningham stated she felt the best way to get feedback from people was just in simple interactions downtown, at the bank or at the post office.
Coun. Debbie Penner stated Kneehill County works with five RCMP detachments within its boundaries and while she respects all of them she wished they all were as involved in the community as Three Hills.
Day noted if the community gives police an opportunity, the RCMP have to do their part too and be approachable.
Councillors accepted Day’s presentation as information.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter