Ponoka RCMP acting detachment commander Sgt. Erin St-Cyr presented the detachment’s second quarter stats to council during their regular meeting on Nov. 22.
St-Cyr said in the second quarter (July 1 to Sept. 30, 2022), members conducted 40 offender monitoring checks, leading to three individuals being charged and sent back to jail for breaching their conditions.
She reported traffic enforcement, especially around school zones and other problem areas, continues to be a priority, amounting to a total of 99 tickets issued during Q2.
Two initiatives St-Cyr highlighted that she was particularly proud of were hosting rapid deployment training at a local school for an active shooter scenario and holding a workshop with local Crown prosecutors.
Other area detachments such as Rimbey and Maskwacis joined them for a day in August as they conducted practice drills.
“Our officers are very, very familiar with the layout of the school and procedure,” said St-Cyr.
She added she was pleased they could hold the event here in Ponoka at one of the schools instead of a hangar in Edmonton.
A meeting with the chief Crown prosecutor and two other Crown prosecutors and members of the Ponoka detachment took place to discuss how the two groups could better work together.
St-Cyr said the goal of the workshop was so they could all better understand each other’s jobs and the members could learn how to “button up” their disclosure for court and make it more viable.
Mayor Kevin Ferguson complimented St-Cyr on the two initiatives, saying he was very impressed they held the training and met with the prosecutors, calling it a “bang on idea.”
St-Cyr also mentioned a new program coming to Ponoka: Data 2 Action.
She said the detachment is slowly starting to get feedback about crime trends and hot spots from data analysts and are staring to make plans on how to implement the information.
Crime Capture, where residents can register their security cameras with the RCMP to assist in investigations, is another program St-Cyr hopes to bring to Ponoka.
She noted that camera footage supplied by a business was instrumental in identifying a suspect in the recent shooting near the Leland Hotel in downtown Ponoka.
St-Cyr reported that frontline RCMP officers will soon be wearing body cameras.
Between 10,000 to 15,000 body-worn cameras will be deployed to contract and federal police officers who interact with communities across Canada’s remote, rural and urban locations.
Alberta is one of the divisions within the RCMP that will be field testing the cameras in 2023.
According to an RCMP document in the agenda package, cameras will be turned on during calls for service including mental health calls, interactions with people in crisis, public disorder and protests, crimes in progress and other instances.
The decision to turn on the cameras will be made before arriving at a call for service, the document stated.