RCMP plan to be more visible
By Phil Ambroziak
By tackling four key areas, the Meadow Lake RCMP believe everything else will fall in line.
During a recent meeting of the newly formed police consultative group, the RCMP highlighted their primary objectives for the coming year. In no particular order, they include traffic enforcement, youth initiatives, drug enforcement and crime reduction.
According to Cpl. Robert Fines, these goals are similar to priorities established by the local detachment in 2012.
“These are the big four,” Fines said. “They always have been – not just for our detachment, but for detachments in other communities as well. And, when you talk to members of the public, these are usually the main issues that are raised as areas of concern. People are always saying they’d like us to be more visible in the community.”
Although specific objectives to go about achieving these goals have yet to be set, Fines said there has already been action taken with regard to engaging young people.
“One of our officers just completed a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program for Grades 4-5 students at Rapid View with plans in place to do the same in Meadow Lake,” he noted. “Last week, we also had someone make a presentation about 911 use. We always encourage our officers to get involved with the area schools.”
Fines went on to say the RCMP’s ultimate goal, as far as young people are concerned, is to lead them away from the things that could land them on the wrong side of the law.
“It’s always good for kids to be able to see our guys in a positive light, too,” he said.
Among those also in attendance for the police consultative group meeting was Meadow Lake mayor Gary Vidal.
“We had a good opportunity to speak with the RCMP about their plans for the upcoming year and their four areas of focus,” Vidal said. “One of the key messages the city representatives at the meeting presented to the RCMP leadership was our desire to ensure the RCMP has a very distinct and obvious presence in our community. We want to see them out and on the streets. We feel that by them being very visible and present, there will be a natural reduction in crime in our community.”
The mayor went on to say the four areas of focus will all contribute to this goal.
“We are pleased with the level of cooperation that was present in the discussion and the resulting conclusions,” he said.
According to Meadow Lake RCMP Staff Sgt. Tim Korman, the local detachment is currently operating with a surplus of members.
“The recent completion of the Waterhen Lake RCMP housing project will increase by another two members when RCMP staffing can facilitate a transfer of surplus members from the Meadow Lake detachment,” Korman said in a recent report to city council.