Tuesday, April 7, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 14 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week

“If the man’s not there, someone else will do the work. If it doesn’t get done, maybe it’s not necessary.
If we haven’t done an inspection in seven years, maybe we don’t need an inspection.”

- Councillor Ian MacLeod  
- on a proposed hiring freeze   

 

 
With the recent resignation of the community's third bylaw enforcement officer in three years, the municipality is once again left without an enforcement option for the near future. Thrice bitten, council is now considering a different direction that would ensure full time bylaw enforcement in the Pass.
Sergeant Scott Howard of the local RCMP detachment attended council's budget meeting on Tuesday, March 31, to answer questions about enhanced policing and what it could bring to the community.
In a nutshell, Howard explained, enhanced policing is extra policing contracted by a municipality, by itself or in concert with other organizations, that is above and beyond existing policing in the community and works within a defined structure depending on what is required.
In this case, said Howard, the municipality could contract with the RCMP to provide a full time, fully-equipped, fully-trained police officer who would enforce bylaws within the community.
"When we go with enhanced policing," said the sergeant, "it's a complete service. The price that you pay includes everything." Overtime, training, supervision, standard equipment, and a vehicle all come with the price, he said, and it does not change the regular RCMP service in the area.
The yearly cost would be approximately $30,000 to $40,000 more than the current yearly budget for a bylaw officer, which is $97,000 in the current budget. With the increased cost would come the certainty that the position would be covered year in and year out, along with the potential increased revenue of having a professional RCMP officer doing full-time bylaw enforcement.
 
Howard noted that the M.D. of Pincher Creek has entered into an enhanced policing contract to provide a stronger police presence in outlying rural areas.
An officer working under an enhanced policing contract would report to the area's commanding officer, in this case the local sergeant, who would in turn report to the municipality. In emergencies, said Howard, the extra officer could be called upon to assist the RCMP, and the municipality would be credited financially for that time. However, the RCMP would also provide backup to the officer in dangerous situations.
"You're getting a police officer, not a peace officer," said Howard. "You're getting a really quality service in my opinion."
If council decided to pursue this option, Howard indicated that it can take up to a year to have someone in place and on the job, though it can also happen on a faster timeline depending on circumstances.
Chief Administrative Officer Gordon Lundy noted that money will be saved in the 2009 budget since the position was only filled for a quarter of the year.
"I do hope council proceed with the enhanced level of service," he said. "I don't see us continuing as we did in the past."
Council agreed to put the matter on its agenda for the next regular council meeting, on Tuesday, April 7.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 14 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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