Duties and responsibilities
“ There are issues with traffic, dirt bikes and ATVs,” he suggested.
“I know that’s not the mandate of municipal enforcement now,” he admitted, “ but there is an issue with the destruction of property.
“ Those are some of the issues...whether they (council) will go that route or not...
“People parking wherever they want” - that’s another area still not yet in his enforcement mandate.
But council is looking at developing a special relationship with the RCMP that could give their town enforcement officer the authority to hand out parking tickets.
For now Parsons will have his hands full with enforcing the myriad of municipal regulations and policies already on the town’s books. They include everything from development regulations, security of town buildings and property, and helping in emergencies to maintaining health and safety policies, working with the RCMP and fire department to maintain traffic and crowd control at accident and fire scenes and animal control.
While law enforcement may sometimes seem like a heavy-handed process, the soft-spoken Parsons says he believes “a lot of it is education.”
For example, seniors may wish to do something around their home they have been doing all their lives without requiring a permit. Now, all of a sudden, under some new regulation a permit may be required.
Then there are new people moving into places like Carbonear - people who may not be from this province or country. Education in the form of a simple reminder of local rules and by-laws that have to be complied with may be all that is required in such cases, Parsons suggested.
Although he is not fully equipped or dressed for the job yet, Parsons said he was told, “I would have a vehicle and uniform. They suggested sourcing out the uniform and what works best.”
As far as the changing face of municipal law enforcement is concerned, Parsons says, “most municipalities are moving forward now when it comes to credibility. When you go into a community now, you don’t see a beatup vehicle or everybody dressed differently.”
He cited Conception Bay South as a good example of a municipality that “ has come a long way with their enforcement and professionalism.”
As for his future as Carbonear’s new municipal enforcement officer, Parsons concludes: “I’m looking forward to this just to see how it goes.”