The Ponoka RCMP held an in-person town hall in the Town of Ponoka’s council chambers on April 4. The town hall was a community engagement opportunity for the members to present information to the public and for citizens to ask questions.
Although the detachment was hoping for a better turnout, Sgt. Erin St-Cyr said they were “happy to have had the opportunity to engage with members of the community who did stop by.”
Under a dozen members of the public came out to the event, St-Cyr estimated.
During the meeting, members gave presentations on 2021 crime stats, recruitment, and the detachment’s policing priorities for 2022.
The Ponoka RCMP’s top policing priorities for the year are traffic safety and enforcement, building community confidence through community engagement, and crime reduction.
Traffic safety and enforcement remains the number one priority as it is a frontline tool for crime reduction, St-Cyr explained. Traffic enforcement includes ticketing impaired drivers and enforcing speed limits in school zones.
St-Cyr said the detachment focuses on community engagement in order to build relationships, as the more intelligence they receive, they more effective they can be.
“We can’t react to what we don’t know about,” she said. “Keeping the community safe is a responsibility we all share.”
For those who are uncomfortable about reporting crimes in their neighbourhood over the phone, calling Crime Stoppers anonymously is also a good option available, said St-Cyr.
One of the ways the detachment is working to reduce crime is continued monitoring of prolific offenders.
The Town of Ponoka provided the venue for the event.
Coun. Ted Dillon, as council’s representative on the Police Advisory Committee, gave a presentation about the work the committee does.
Ponoka County chief administrative officer Charlie Cutforth was present as well.
A presentation from the school resource officer Const. Lenny Wells was also given. Wells explained his role in Ponoka schools.
“We’re hoping to have some discussions with folks in the community,” said St-Cyr, adding they’d like to hear from residents, one-on-one, what they believe the RCMP’s priorities should be for the next year.