Pilot project proposed for Sylvan Lake and Rimbey RCMP

Chief Superintendent Shahin Mehdizadeh spoke about the project at Tuesday’s meeting of council

RCMP Central Alberta District proposed a new pilot program to Sylvan Lake Town Council which would see a 24-hour RCMP presence by local officers.

The pilot program would have Sylvan Lake RCMP officerS switch to a 12-hour shift schedule, and stop the need for continuous on-call officers.

Chief Superintendent for the district Shahin Mehdizadeh, says this system would allow officers to have a better work-life balance while also giving better coverage to the area.

“We are looking at ways to maximize our efficiency,” Mehdizadeh told council. “It has been scientifically proven that it is safer for an officer to work longer hours, and be awake and prepared, then waking them up while on call.”

The pilot program would be in partnership with Rimbey RCMP, who would also change to a 12-hour shift model that would match Sylvan Lake’s detachment.

With the two detachments working on similar shifts, it will allow for further cooperation between the two.

Mehdizadeh says in particular, it will allow both detachments to be more readily available for the possibility of a back up call being requested.

“Already Rimbey and Sylvan Lake work together, and the back up calls are made now. With a 12-hour shift it will give a better response time for those calls,” he said, adding the response time will also be better for local calls.

“It will be a tit-for-tat buddy system.”

He says should the pilot program be approved, it will run for three months and only once the department is fully staffed and ready.

“Before we do make a shift change we have to give our members at least 28 days of notice. So, this isn’t something that would just happen tomorrow,” he said.

A similar pilot project was instated with the Wetaskiwin and Camrose RCMP detachments, with positive results.

While Mehdizadeh says the pilot project will bring more visibility to officers, give better response time and have officers on duty 24-hours each day, which is currently not the case, Town Council says they have concerns.

In particular, Council says they are concerned with how the pilot project could effect the Town’s agreement with the RCMP as well as their budget.

“We’re a little apprehensive,” said Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre.

Council was also concerned with the shift change being used to provide back up to the neighbouring community of Rimbey.

The concern is that providing back up to Rimbey, which is half an hour north of Sylvan Lake, will take away from Sylvan Lake.

Mehdizadeh says officers will not be moved to another detachments, nor are more bodies being asked for.

“We are concerned for our entire area, but we don’t want to short the people of Sylvan Lake… Back up requests already happen now, the pilot project will just allow the officers to be more prepared and efficient should the call arise,” he said.

No decision was made at the Oct. 15 council meeting about the potential pilot project. Mehdizadeh hopes to speak with the Town of Rimbey as well as the officers before coming back to council to further discuss the proposal.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Elder in the Making’ Herr Lecture in Lacombe brings light to Treaty 7

Documentary film/interactive talk highlights relationship between Blackfoot elder, Chinese newcomer

Sylvan Lake man accused with murder of wife appears in court

Satnam Singh Sandhu appeared in Red Deer Provincial Court via CCTV on Jan. 22

Sylvan Lake school to ring in 20th anniversary with new look

Ecole Mother Teresa Catholic School getting a new colour pallet alongside school and athletic logos

Fracking the official cause of Sylvan Lake earthquake last spring

Alberta Energy Regulators declared their findings in a report released last month

ATM thefts down in Central Alberta in 2019

RCMP data also shows some aspects of property crime in the rural and municipal areas drop as well

VIDEO: WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal motor vehicle collision

Collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 11 and Burnt Lake Trail

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Alberta privacy watchdog investigates ID scans at liquor stores

Alcanna Ltd., based in Edmonton, runs Liquor Depot, Wine and Beyond and Nova Cannabis stores

Survey finds support among Canadians for broader assisted-dying law

The survey was conducted Jan. 17 to 21 among 1,552 Canadians eligible to vote

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Most Read