Chestermere’s Community Peace Officers (CPOs) were kept busy in the first quarter of the year with a 175 per cent increase in complaints from the same time in 2017.
“This quarter’s been extremely busy for our members most of this is attributed to the quick succession of the heavy snow we’ve had this winter season,” said Acting Supervisor CPO Sgt. Trever Bowman.
“Not only on public sidewalks, our officers dealt with 150 complaints and overwhelming majority of those were self-generated.”
Bowman said that the self-generated files were created by the members working to educate and enforce snow issues before they could become a complaint from a member of the public.
With the arrival of warmer weather, Bowman said that the bulk of their workload will shift from snow complaints to unsightly premises complaints.
The lack of maintenance or upkeep to a property can lead to complaints of unsightly premises.
This can include the accumulation of garbage and refuse, not mowing the lawn or letting a property become overgrown with weeds.
“Residents, if you’re a property owner you have certain responsibilities to maintain your property,” said Bowman.
“You have neighbours you know what be a good neighbour that’s the gist of it,” he said.
While the seasons are changing and bringing different kinds of complaints to the forefront, Peace Officers will continue to handle them in the same fashion, educate then enforce.
“Education before enforcement is always our goal however they are going to be certain situations and circumstances where we…need to do something immediately,” said Bowman, “The enforcement process allows us to address those issue much more quickly.”
“There’s a big difference between not mowing your lawn and leaving a car in seven different pieces on your front lawn,” he said.
With more of these kinds of complaints looming in the near future, Bowman said that the city is working to improve on the bylaw to better control construction sites in the city.
“The bylaw that is coming up is not only going to address residential properties, commercial properties but it’s also going to address properties under construction and ongoing building projects,” he said.
CPO’s will also continue to partner with the RCMP to help ensure the safety of city roads this summer.
“We’re working closely with our policing partners in line with the city’s strategic plan and traffic safety plan and that’s providing a high presence on our streets and highways to curb high risk driving behaviours and reduce injury collisions in and around Chestermere area,” said Bowman.