RCMP are working to ensure Chestermere is the safest community in the Calgary urban area.
In October of 2021, RCMP reported a 24 per cent reduction in crime, including personal crimes, property crimes, break and enters, theft from motor vehicles, and theft under $5,000.
“Our desire at the Chestermere RCMP is to create one of the safest communities in the Calgary urban area, and we wholeheartedly believe that the more residents that participate in the CAPTURE program, the more criminal element will understand that Chestermere is not a community that they want to come to commit crimes,” said Sgt. Joe Stubbs during a Nov. 15 RCMP Virtual Town Hall.
The RCMP believes the CAPTURE program will serve as not only a deterrent but as an effective resource in apprehending property crime suspects.
As the community continues to experience growth, RCMP are working to ensure construction site thefts don’t spike by reviewing how many building permits were issued in 2020, and how many thefts from construction sites were reported.
“We want to make sure we do our best to ensure our developers are getting value for the police dollars being up forward,” Stubbs said.
School zone safety was made a priority for this year.
From April to October, 102 violation tickets for speeding, unsafe turns, and distracted driving in school zones and playground areas were issued.
“One of our goals is not to hand out tickets in these areas but to be visible and present. The police can’t do their job without the community, and the community needs the police to do their job,” Stubbs said.
RCMP are now working to connect with the community, with the positive ticketing program.
“A lot of the time, members get on the road and are looking for things that people have done wrong, this program is encouraging the officers to look for youth doing positive things, and it’s part of our desire the raise awareness of youth doing positive things,” Stubbs said.
Within the last six months, 104 positive tickets were issued to youth in the community.
Throughout the pandemic, RCMP focused on ensuring there were proper social distances in green spaces, residents were adhering to the city’s bylaws and the state of local emergency orders.
“Feedback from the public was that people really enjoyed officers getting out of their cars, and being more approachable,” Stubbs said.
“The talking head in a police car isn’t always as approachable as the officer standing out in the green space. There’s no enforcement focus to this program, this is all about going out, and being seen in the parks,” he added. “It’s about being approachable to members in the community, engaging in conversations, and finding out from the people taking advantage of the open spaces what their concerns are.”
Stubbs is also encouraging residents to engage with police by starting a conversation when they are out and about.
“Members of the public don’t know what the officer just came from, have a little bit of empathy that maybe they aren’t at their best, be patient with them, just like you want them to be patient with you,” Stubbs said.
“That will enhance the relationship with law enforcement, and I think we will all get along fine,” he said.
Going forward, RCMP will continue the Enhanced Road Safety Program, as aggressive and impaired driving remains an issue within the city limits.
The program has had 100 shifts within the last 6 months, with over 1,600 tickets being issued.
“The program is going to help remove impaired drivers and keep the community safe,” Stubbs said.