Po­lice com­mit­tee seeks in­put into en­force­ment pri­or­i­ties

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

The Drumheller Polic­ing Com­mit­tee is urg­ing res­i­dents con­cerned about the di­rec­tion of polic­ing pri­or­i­ties to share their in­put.

The Polic­ing Com­mit­tee is get­ting ready to sub­mit its re­port on po­lice pri­or­i­ties to the Drumheller RCMP to help the lo­cal RCMP es­tab­lish its pri­or­i­ties for the com­ing year. Chair of Polic­ing Com­mit­tee, Fred Makowecki, ex­plains that in­put is im­por­tant.

“The pro­gres­sive move for­ward in over­sight gives the pub­lic the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in what polic­ing is in the com­mu­nity and what they would like to see in the com­mu­nity,” he said. “In other coun­tries, if you see a po­lice­man com­ing down the street you run the other way be­cause you are afraid. In our coun­try, not only do we not have to run from the po­lice, we ac­tu­ally par­tic­i­pate in what the goals

are within the com­mu­nity… it shouldn’t be ig­nored.”

In fact, he says many ju­ris­dic­tions in Canada don’t have this op­por­tu­nity.

The Po­lice Com­mit­tee has made avail­able a short sur­vey at www.di­nosaur­val­ley.com for res­i­dents to give their opin­ion on what they be­lieve the pri­or­i­ties are for polic­ing in the com­ing year, While the sur­vey is avail­able year round, they make a con­certed ef­fort to gain in­put in Fe­bru­ary.

Staff Sergeant Kevin Charles says the po­lice are able to con­sider the sug­ges­tions from the pub­lic as he writes his An­nual Per­for­mance Plan. He points out this is an ini­tia­tive by the polic­ing com­mit­tee and the RCMP are arm’s length from it.

“The polic­ing com­mit­tee comes to me with their re­sult, which is won­der­ful,” he said.

While some of the pri­or­i­ties for the RCMP come from the divi­sion, this in­put is used to com­plete the an­nual per­for­mance plan.

“I do not have to es­tab­lish pri­or­i­ties based on this, it is for my con­sid­er­a­tion, and I do con­sider it very much so.”

He en­cour­ages as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to fill out the sur­vey so it rep­re­sents the com­mu­nity.

“I can’t state how im­por­tant it is to have enough par­tic­i­pa­tion in this as pos­si­ble,” said Charles. “A few years ago…we had less than 100 sur­veys, and that rep­re­sented less than one per cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion.”

“Statis­tics can give a false per­cep­tion of what the re­al­ity is. So if I have 80 sur­veys, and 20 say some­thing is an is­sue, this is only a frac­tion of the com­mu­nity.”

He says the re­sults of the sur­vey are of­ten in line with what they ex­pect them to be.

“His­tor­i­cally with these kinds of sur­veys, there are no sur­prises,” said Charles. “It re­mains fairly con­sis­tent year to year as far as what the pub­lic’s per­cep­tions are, but those can also be clar­i­fied. It shows me the trends.”

He says while there may be an item that is not con­sid­ered a pri­or­ity, if it is prom­i­nent on this list, po­lice will give it con­sid­er­a­tion.

Makowecki said at the end of Fe­bru­ary, they will crunch the re­sults of the sur­vey and pro­vide it to Cor­po­ral Charles as he builds his an­nual per­for­mance plan.

The sur­vey can be com­pleted at www.di­nosaur­val­ley.com. Hard copies are avail­able at the Town of Drumheller.

mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Staff Sergeant Kevin Charles, left, and Fred Makowecki of the polic­ing com­mit­tee stresses the im­por­tance of res­i­dents giv­ing their in­put into polic­ing pri­or­i­ties.

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