Council updated on activities of Claresholm RCMP detachment

By Rob Vogt
The Claresholm detachment of the RCMP was busy with a number of activities over the past three months.
Sergeant Perry Pelletier, of the Claresholm RCMP, appeared as a delegation at town council’s March 25 meeting.
Pelletier explained the police are working on using drones and he will be having two members trained on the use of them.
He added there are a lot of applications such as using them when a crime is in progress to monitor the situation until police arrive, or in searching for someone lost in the hills.
Conversely, a fixed or rotary wing craft can take a lot of time to arrive, and there is quite a process to even get one here.
Pelletier said drones will help police do their jobs effectively.
He then discussed staffing, noting the detachment will be receiving a recent graduate on April 8, who will spend two to four months with a trainer.
A member is transferring to St. Albert, likely in July; one member is on paternity leave until the end of September; and another member is off indefinitely with no known date of return.
Pelletier then discussed the quarterly statistics, which run from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31.
One of the detachment’s priorities is enhanced road safety. They have a target of 250 charges and are at 147. They also have a target of 30 impaired-driving charges, and have six so far.
Pelletier said the members are on the look out for impaired drivers, but aren’t finding any, and the police haven’t received any complaints either.
Another priority is crime reduction. They have done 22 out of a goal of 30 prolific offender checks, with seven people currently on court-imposed conditions, and all being compliant when checked.
The detachment has been doing education and awareness, meeting with community groups and visiting schools. They have a target of 12 meetings, and did 15.
The police has also done Operation Street Sweep, looking for people on outstanding warrants, and has exceeded its goal of four.
A third priority is increased visibility, so the detachment did 22 foot patrols out of a goal of 30 to 40.
The police are also enhancing visibility. as an example, Pelletier drives around every day in the morning.
Coun. Mike Cutler noted all detachment members are now trained on radar. People tell him about speeding trucks in town and ask why is there not more radar out.
Pelletier said the members do get out to do radar, and he encourages them to be proactive.
Cutler asked if they are catching speeders and Pelletier responded they are.
The sergeant then discussed drug enforcement action.
He said the police are not getting a lot of information about drug activity.
“We need the community to come forward,” Pelletier said. “We need tips.”
He added there are no big quantities in town he is aware of.
Pelletier concluded by noting the RCMP’s fourth quarter is ending and he will be canvassing for policing priorities and any concerns.
Coun. Kandice Meister said she has seen more speeding in town and people not stopping at stop signs.
“I can definitely look into that,” Pelletier said.
Coun. Rod Kettles asked the police to help keep speeds down by the schools, expressing surprise there has been no incident in 30 years. He added he makes this request annually.
Pelletier asked if there were specific times.
Kettles responded 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., the drop-off and pick-up times for students.