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Familiar face of Sylvan Lake RCMP detachment commander

Jay Peden returns to serve town after a decade

Born in Alberta and brought up in the area of Medicine Hat with 21 years of experience working with the RCMP, Staff Sergeant Jay Peden has been stationed as the new Detachment Commander for the Sylvan Lake RCMP Detachment. He has previously served in Valleyview, Olds, and Red Deer.

“I was posted in Sylvan Lake from July 1, 2006 to April 2011 and worked as a constable during my time here. I was a volunteer football coach and time dedicated to being active with the students and staff at H.J. Cody High School in addition to my regular policing duties.

“Following my transfer away from the Sylvan Lake detachment, my family and I had the interest to return to the area and ultimately to return to the Sylvan Lake detachment as the Detachment Commander,” said Peden. “Over the past few weeks, the transition has been nothing but positive. The members stationed here are a dedicated and hard-working group committed to providing a high level of service to Sylvan Lake and the surrounding area,” he added.

Having served on the ASPIRE Special Needs Resource Center Board of Directors as well as the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Center Board of Directors in Red Deer, Peden understands the need to focus on community engagement.

“Over the next few months, I am looking to meet many of the community members and municipal governments, not only in Sylvan Lake but also in the surrounding communities and summer villages which our detachment provides policing services. As there is already a positive relationship with many of our stakeholders I am looking to strengthen them further and continue with community engagement opportunities. I have had an active role in Crime Reduction initiatives during my time in Red Deer and remain committed to building on the current successes already experienced in Sylvan Lake detachment’s program,” said Peden.

Peden took the opportunity during the Jan. 24 council meeting’s open microphone to introduce himself to the council.

“During my time I have gained a valuable experience throughout my career in the communities where I’ve been fortunate to work. These have included rural, Indigenous policing, tourist-rich environments, and large city experiences, all of which have led to the foundation of my skills and experiences,” said Peden. “It’s been a wealth of experience which I am happy and fortunate to bring here. When the opportunity presented itself to return to Sylvan Lake, my family and I agreed that it was an opportunity to return to a place I would describe as a welcoming and vibrant community,” he added.

Peden said the overall stats for Sylvan Lake have seen a decrease this past year with property crimes down by 9 percent, and persons crime by 13 percent.

“There has been a 29 percent decrease in break-in enters, the Municipality of Sylvan Lake had a 22 percent decrease in the theft of motor vehicles, and 14 percent decrease in theft under $5,000. They’ve made great strides and it is something I want to work on. I will say that this decrease can be attributed to Sylvan Lake members themselves and the community, the constables that are taking the calls, day-to-day, that are actively involved in the crime reduction initiate of doing compliance checks…and being active in the community overall,” said Peden.

Working amidst a global pandemic, Peden said strategies for implementation continue to be designed to promote safety for all.

“It’s important that we keep our members healthy. Wellness is a key element that I want to bring to this detachment because if we are not well, we can’t serve the public. There will be opportunities to be flexible and change the way we deliver our service. The mandate and what we are going to provide is the higher level of service that Sylvan Lake has come to recognize from the detachment,” he concluded.