The County of Wetaskiwin is moving ahead with an enhanced RCMP officer position on the far west side of the municipality, decided council at their regular meeting Sept. 4.
Assistant CAO Jeff Chipley presented the agenda item to councilors and introduced it thusly: “At the Council General meeting held March 13, 2018, Council approved to enter into a contract for a full-time enhanced Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Member for the Breton/Thorsby Detachment and a Crime Analyst for the Wetaskiwin RCMP Detachment.
“At the Council General meeting held May 1, 2018, Ms. Patricia Harrish, Policing Planning & Contract Coordinator with Alberta Justice & Solicitor General, Inspector Shane Ramteemal, Client Services Officer, “K” Division Operations Strategy Branch, Inspector Keith Durance, detachment commander of the Wetaskiwin RCMP Detachment, and S/Sgt. Harpreet Dhaliwal, commanding officer of the Thorsby and Breton RCMP Detachments were in attendance to present information on entering into an agreement for enhanced police services for a full-time RCMP member for the Breton RCMP detachment and a crime analyst for the Wetaskiwin RCMP detachment.
“During this meeting, council resolved to accept the presentation by the Alberta Justice & Solicitor General’s Office and RCMP as information and that the county continue moving forward with initiating Enhanced Policing Option 1 for a full-time enhanced RCMP Member for the Breton/Thorsby Detachment and a Crime Analyst for the Wetaskiwin RCMP Detachment.”
Chipley explained that, currently, the County of Wetaskiwin pays for “enhanced hours” for RCMP members already in place; this new position will bring in an extra person.
He recommended councilors approve the following motions: That Council approve the Memorandum of Understanding between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the County of Wetaskiwin for the acquisition of a full-time enhanced RCMP Member for the Breton Detachment as presented.
Also, “that Council direct Administration bring forward amendments to the Enhanced Policing Policy #211 to reflect the change in the approach the County undertakes for enhanced policing from the paying of RCMP overtime costs to the provision of a full-time enhanced RCMP Member to a future Co meeting and further inform the RCMP of the cancellation of the current agreement for Enhanced Option #2 that provides 550 hours of policing.”
It was noted during the meeting that the county would only pay for an enhanced RCMP officer position if the detachment is at full strength; they would not provide enhanced funding if the detachment is short officers.
Councilor Josh Bishop asked about the “crime analyst” position and how it will be handled.
Chipley said the crime analyst is a different situation. It will be a civilian position at the Wetaskiwin RCMP detachment and technically an employee of the City of Wetaskiwin. Chipley said the county would work with the city on this position, and has in fact approached the city. The issue is currently being discussed.
Reeve Kathy Rooyakkers noted the county would help pay for the position, and the city would technically have control of him or her.
County CAO Rod Hawken added that the county is currently waiting to hear back from the city on this issue.