Sylvan Lake RCMP Detachment’s first online town hall was a success. Numerous people participated in sending emails with their concerns, questions and appreciation. All of the emails have been categorized into three main areas.
The number one concern involved traffic enforcement and the desire to have enforcement increased in just about every part of the Town of Sylvan Lake. Common themes were around reducing speeding in general and in school zones, better enforcement of stop sign violations and stunting.
Traffic enforcement is a part of the detachment’s Annual Performance Plan (APP). The APP is developed with input from the elected officials in our jurisdiction. For traffic enforcement we are trying to increase our moving violation charges so we can make the roads safer and reduce collisions.
To date we have reduced traffic collisions by 25 per cent from 2019. We continue to focus on better ways to educate the public on proper driving habits and sometimes this has to be done through enforcement.
The number two concern was about reducing crime. Sylvan Lake Detachment continues to focus on initiatives to reduce crime, one being Lighthouse which is a prolific offender management program. Lighthouse identified those in the community that are on court imposed conditions and are involved in a significant amount of crime. The detachment membership then ensures these individuals are held accountable to those conditions and any deviation from this results in a criminal charge.
Another initiative involves focusing on trafficking of drugs. Our General Investigation Unit works closely with the Priority Crimes Task Force based out of Red Deer to ensure they have the most up to date current information of offenders in the Central Alberta Area.
When we look at key crimes such as Break and Enter and theft offences; within the Town of Sylvan Lake we started 2020 with a 57 per cent increase in B&E’s. Throughout the year we have been able to bring this down to -1 per cent. In our rural area we started 2020 at -6 per cent and have brought this down to -24 per cent. Both significant decreases in a major crime.
When we look at theft under, municipally we started 2020 at 15 per cent over and have reduced this to -1 per cent. In the rural area we started 2020 at 133 per cent over and have reduced this to -18 per cent.
The third concern involved better communication with our clients and partners. This town hall is one way we are working on better communication and hope to continue with these moving forward.
Our partners with Rural Crime Watch groups also made it known they wish to hear from the Detachment more frequently, and I agree. Rural Crime Watch groups are incredibly important to the success of crime reduction and this is dependant on the RCMP sharing key pieces of information with them.
I thank everyone who took time to email the detachment as this is a true test to see if we are meeting the public’s expectations, and if not, where we can improve. Although not all the emails are being addressed in this reply, I assure you that I have personally reviewed every one of them.
-Submitted by St. Sgt. Jeff McBeth