February 15, 2017 · 1:33 PM

Members of the Bashaw RCMP went out on Buffalo Lake Feb. 11 with several Fish and Wildlife officers from Alberta Environment and Parks in hopes of letting the public know they will be patrolling the area. The members dished out 17 tickets for various infractions and helped educate the 170 people they talked to on the lake. / Photo - Bashaw RCMP

It hasn’t taken long for the new proactive, community policing philosophy in Bashaw to kick into gear.

Only a few weeks after taking command of the Bashaw RCMP detachment, Sgt. Bruce Holliday is making good on his commitment to getting officers out and about as members of the detachment partnered with Alberta Environment and Parks fish and wildlife officers from Ponoka, Camrose, Stettler and Red Deer on Feb. 11 to conduct patrols on Buffalo Lake.

Overall, the officers were able to connect with about 170 people that were enjoying the outdoors ice fishing as well as riding all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.

Sgt. Holliday explained the patrol is the first of what will be a regular, year-round education and enforcement initiative at Buffalo Lake.

“It’s been quite some time since something like this has been done out there and it was a great opportunity to go out and educate the people in both safety while taking part in outdoor activities plus fish and wildlife regulations,” he said.

Of the 17 tickets issued, 10 of those were handed out by fish and wildlife officers for violations of fishing regulations, while two involved off-highway vehicles not being registered or having no insurance. The other five were for consuming liquor in public and having open liquor in a vehicle.

“It’s important to note that we talked to people from all over the region Bashaw, Mirror, Alix, Camrose, Stettler, Ponoka with the vast majority having to drive a long distance home later. This initiative, along with the tickets, will help prevent drinking and driving plus the potential of an unfortunate incident on the way home and that keeps everyone safe,” Holliday added.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the lake and what it offers, but without creating any unnecessary hazards for themselves and everyone else out there or on the roads.”

In addition, Holliday encourages the public to help the RCMP by reporting those that choose to put the safety of the public at risk by committing offences. People can call the complaint line at (780) 372-3593 or, should they wish to remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).