M.D. updated on activities of the RCMP

By Rob Vogt – Local Press Writer
The RCMP was involved in a lot of different activities over the past three months.
Corporal Tom Nairn, detachment commander for the Nanton RCMP and looking after the Claresholm detachment, appeared as a delegation at the Nov. 16 meeting of the council of the Municipal District of Willow Creek to share a quarterly update.
He explained the report spans the beginning of July to the end of September.
The first thing Nairn discussed was the RCMP’s rollout of body-worn cameras in Alberta.
Ultimately, every member of the RCMP will be wearing a camera.
“It’s going to help with transparency,” Nairn said, adding it will also help when members go to court.
Now, the court can see what actually happened at an incident by watching the body-worn camera footage.
The cameras are being piloted in select detachments in Alberta, but one member each from Claresholm and Nanton will also be picked to test the cameras.
Nairn then discussed community policing priorities.
One is speeding, with enforcement a little below the target set.
Nairn noted a lot of members are not trained on photo radar and laser.
He aims to change that by arranging a training course at the Claresholm fire hall where all Claresholm and Nanton members will be trained.
Nairn also talked about Operation Street Sweep where RCMP members did a round-up of people with outstanding warrants and who have breached conditions that were placed on them by the court.
That resulted in 15 new charges, including an impaired driving investigation.
The RCMP continue to do foot patrols, with 43 for the year so far, and are on target to reach their goal of 60 for the year.
They are also on target for enhanced shifts where off-duty members are brought in on overtime. Operation Street Sweep was one enhanced shift, and another is Red Serge duty at community events.
Drug enforcement is an issue in Claresholm, and Nairn said recency is important, because the police need a search warrant to enter a residence. They cannot just kick in the door.
They also continue drug enforcement training, even though they have already met their target for the year.
Nairn then turned his attention to crime statistics.
Person crimes are down eight per cent over the same period in 2021, while property crimes have increased 34 per cent.
However, Nairn explained one individual, who was finally arrested and taken off the streets, was responsible for 11 break and enters. Property crime has decreased since then.
Criminal Code traffic offences have also gone from five last year to 10 this year.
Nairn then moved on to staffing.
In Nanton, the detachment has Nairn and three constables, so it is fully staffed.
In Claresholm, one member has transferred out. Sergeant Rob Harms, who was temporarily transferred to Piikani Nation, has been promoted to Drumheller.
Consequently, the Claresholm RCMP is short a sergeant and constable.
Another operation the RCMP conducted on Sept. 23 and 24, was a traffic operation that covered Claresholm, Nanton and the M.D.s of Willow Creek and Ranchland.
A total of 39 tickets were issued, with 28 for speeding. One ticket was issued for a motorist speeding at 104 kilometres per hour in a 50-kilometre zone.
There was one impaired driver, as well as tickets issued for using a cell phone while driving, not wearing seat belts, and driving with expired insurance.
Nairn has also introduced a catalytic converter project in Claresholm. The town bought five engravers that have been given to local shops to engrave the last eight digits of the owner’s vehicle identification number on their catalytic converter.
Nairn also went over the most recent statistics in the M.D. where there were five cases of uttering threats; and two assaults.
There have also been 47 property crimes broken down to 14 break and enter; 14 theft under $5,000; three possession of stolen property; four fraud; and six mischief, as well as six drug enforcement files.
There were 48 motor vehicle collisions in the M.D. as well.
Nairn said most involve two vehicles, and seven had injuries.
Overall, a total of 315 tickets have been written in the M.D. this year.
“Keep up the good work,” said Reeve Maryanne Sandberg at the conclusion of Nairn’s presentation. “Thank you for protecting our communities.”