The Langdon RCMP shared policing priorities with Rocky View County residents during a town all on March 9.
The town hall meetings help RCMP members know what residents want from their police service and ensure policing services meet the needs in the community.
“We want to make sure we’re getting out into our communities, it’s a priority to be engaging with our residents, talking with the public, finding out public concerns about safety, and if there are issues and concerns going on in our communities,” Strathmore RCMP Staff Sergeant Mark Wielgosz said. “We really want to be making connections in the community for us to be effective as we can be, we need community support.”
At the beginning of the fiscal year, the RCMP establish policing priorities, and activities implemented to achieve their goals.
Policing priorities are established through public feedback, community engagement, meeting with elected officials, crime statistics, and emerging crime trends.
In the fiscal year, the Strathmore detachment responded to 1,197 calls for service in Rocky View County, and 862 calls in Wheatland County.
This year, the Strathmore RCMP focused on three key priorities including reducing property crime, traffic safety, and community engagement.
“Even though we have three priorities we’ve been focusing on, we can shift focus throughout the year. If we see changing crime trends, we can make sure we’re addressing the biggest issues in our area,” Wielgosz said.
To reduce property crimes, the Strathmore RCMP have implemented a variety of programs such as the Habitual Offender Management program, the Persons of Interest Program, the Security Screw Program, and hot spot patrols in the Langdon, and the Wheatland County area.
In the Habitual Offender Management program, high-impact offenders in the detachment area are monitored to ensure they are following order conditions.
Offenders are selected based on the volume of crimes they commit, the seriousness of the crimes, the likelihood of reoffending, and the impact of the crime on the community.
“Once we have those people identified, we implement our program to monitor conditions and ensure they are living a law-abiding lifestyle. Our members check on them, and make sure they are following conditions,” Wielgosz said.
Throughout the quarter, the Strathmore detachment monitored 15 habitual offenders and made 86 offender checks to ensure release conditions were followed.
Strathmore RCMP members also monitor persons of interest in the community who are involved in organized crime, on parole, probation, or an interim release on open criminal matters. Persons are identified on the potential risk to the community, severity of offences, and the likelihood to re-offend.
To ensure the Strathmore RCMP detachment is cognizant of offenders moving in and out of the area, partnerships are fostered between the Calgary Police Service, parole board, probation officers and other RCMP units.
The Strathmore RCMP also offers a security screw program, to ensure driver’s license plates have security fasteners to deter crimes of opportunity.
Lastly, RCMP members patrol rural areas to increase visibility and to detect and deter crime.
During the quarter, 26 hot spot patrols were made in Langdon, and 31 in Conrich.
Crime trends observed by RCMP members in Rocky View County and Wheatland County include break and enter, theft of motor vehicles, and theft from motor vehicles.
The Strathmore RCMP is currently developing other programs to reduce property crime, such as the Strathmore Theft Prevention Program, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, and a Business Outreach Program.
The second priority established by RCMP is traffic safety and reducing injury and overall collisions.
Through traffic safety enforcement, RCMP issued 189 violations in Rocky View County, 13 in Langdon, 135 in Wheatland County, and 26 immediate roadside sanction suspensions in municipal and rural areas.
RCMP members checked 366 vehicles in six routine check stops.
The Strathmore detachment is also piloting the Enhanced Road Safety Initiative with a focus on impaired, aggressive, and distracted driving.
“The aim of the program is to raise awareness with respect to traffic safety, increase road safety through visibility and enforcement, and reduce injury collisions within municipal and rural areas,” Wielgosz said. “The increased visibility and presence of law enforcement are also expected to detect and deter potential property crimes.”
Lastly, the Strathmore RCMP detachment is continuing community engagement by attending community events, community liaison programs, and visiting schools.
“Fostering positive relationships within our community and seeking ways to improve engagement with our residents and indigenous communities is a priority this year. Community support and engagement are essential to the success of crime reduction and community safety initiatives,” Wielgosz said. “This is achieved through open communication and trust.”
The Strathmore detachment has also implemented a youth diversion program to give youth an opportunity to redeem themselves through restorative justice.
Wielgosz explained the goal of the program is to educate and deter youth from entering the criminal justice system and give youth a chance to learn from their mistakes.
“Investigating members will determine eligibility as an option to find the best outcome in response to minor criminal matters and prevent the repetition of offenses,” Wielgosz said.
Going forward, RCMP members are continuing to be proactive in the community and encourage feedback from residents about safety concerns.
“We’re proactive, we’re out in the communities, we’re actively looking to prevent, detect, and deter crime. Most importantly, we want to hear back from the public if we’re doing a good job, and if we’re not, what things we should be paying more attention to,” Wielgosz said.