A recent spate of high-profile crimes in the Eckville area involving police is uncommon for the area, according to Sylvan Lake RCMP. Nonetheless, police are assuring that the area remains safe.
Sgt. Jeff McBeth of the Sylvan Lake RCMP said rising statistics for assaults on police officers – which include two recent incidents in Eckville – are concerning as they are higher than normal.
“It’s certainly a concern for us in the RCMP,” he said. “Any sort of crimes that we see that display violence, whether it’s towards the public or the police, cause us great concern.”
RCMP as always, he said, continue to do their utmost to battle such criminal activity in a bid to ensure the safety of both members of the public and the police officers who protect them.
“I would like to believe that we do a very good job out there and a good service to the public,” he said. “We can’t prevent certain types of crimes from happening, we just hope to be in the right place at the right time for some of them to prevent them from happening.”
Eckville Mayor Helen Posti said recent events have made her fear for the safety of police officers, who she says put their lives on the line for the community on a daily basis.
“It is getting tougher for them everywhere,” she said. “Not just in the cities and on the highways, but in the small communities also.”
She said Eckville was once a community where people never had to lock their doors when they left their homes. But now, as a sign of the times, she acknowledges things are different.
“Now I think people have to lock their doors,” she said. “Even though a lot of people aren’t comfortable with that, it’s part of the reality of the times. I’ve lived in this community so long that I hate to see this kind of change. It’s one of the changes that isn’t acceptable to me.”