Sylvan Lake increases Municipal Enforcement activity along lakefront

With more activity in the downtown and lakefront area, officers will be more visible during summer

Sylvan Lake Town Council has in the past recognized a need for increased Municipal Enforcement efforts along the lakeshore.

Looking at 2019 and forward into 2020, Nicholas Reijnen, manager of Municipal Enforcement, says Lakeshore Enforcement Standards is a priority for his department.

“This priority proposes, for lack of a better term, to micro manage enforcement activities, and impose high values into the downtown and lakeshore areas,” Reijnen said.

He says his officers strive to do “the right thing, at the right place, at the time, for the right reasons and in the right way.”

To do this, Reijnen says there is a “heighten concentrated enforcement activities, officer presence and awareness” in the downtown area.

Specifically, Municipal Enforcement will have a focus on six enforcement matters: parking, liquor, littering, animals, noise and smoking.

Reijnen says he has employed the ‘broken window theory’ for his rationale in how to enforce matters in the lakefront area.

The broken window theory states that “visible signs of anti-social behaviour and civil disorder creates an urban environment that encourages further crime and disorder.”

“The theory suggests that policing methods, or enforcement methods, that target minor crimes… will help to create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness,” Reijnen said, adding his own experience can testify to the truthfulness of the broken window theory.

“That is why all the small things I’ve always known were important, its good to be reminded of why they are important… In the big picture these things are fundamentally important that we address them and not ignore them.”

These “small items” Reijnen and Council identified as the six areas of focus: parking, liquor, littering, animals, noise and smoking – of both cannabis and tobacco in Town parks.

Reijnen said along with the six categories Municipal Enforcement will be focusing on this summer in the lakefront area, officers will also be keeping an eye on tent populations on the beach.

He says this is to be considered strictly a “surveillance operation.”

“I am going to direct [Municipal Enforcement staff] to simply monitor the tent situation, not to become involved with those that have tents,” he said.

Municipal Enforcement officers will be looking at the number of tents populating the beach area, along with their size and proximity to each other.

Throughout the summer the officers will be taking pictures of the tents, and then prepare a report for council after the season has come to a close.

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