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