Drumheller RCMP Staff Sergeant Ed Bourque has released the results of the annual policing survey used to identify the detachment’s priorities for the coming year.
The Drumheller Detachment, along with the Town of Drumheller annually put out a policing survey to ask residents where they would like to see enforcement focused in the coming year.
This year there were 191 responses to the online survey, and the number one priority is the
illegal drug trade in the community. This is followed by family violence, property crime, impaired driving, and rounding out the top five is increased focus on repeat and habitual offenders.
“We wish to thank our community members for taking the time to respond to our survey, it is evident many people care about contributing to the goodwill and safety throughout our neighborhoods,” he said.
The survey also allowed residents to write in concerns and suggestions. While focusing on the drug trade, there were concerns that while
the police are making efforts in enforcement, many repeat offenders are receiving minor sentences and ending up back on the streets. There are also concerns about known drug houses.
“Our Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) team is hard at work with our uniformed and other plainclothes members, Bylaw, COP, and Rural Crime Watch identifying local residences where drug trafficking, production, fencing of stolen property, or processing stolen copper is occurring,” he said. “We need the community’s help to be our eyes and ears and report all suspicious activity. Your complaints are vital, and oftentimes we are able to incorporate your information into our grounds added to our Information to Obtain Affidavits to search a person, place, or vehicle.”
While property crime ranked high on the list of priorities, Bourque points out it has indeed been dropping.
“Overall, our 2020, 4th quarter stats show our home and commercial property crime is down 22 per cent from 2019, and we attribute this to the amazing work of our detachment members including our General Duty first responders, (CRU), Municipal Traffic Unit and General Investigation Section (GIS),” he said.
Rounding out the top list of priorities are police visibility, traffic enforcement, and public safety. Bourque says they are making efforts toward community engagement. They have formed partnerships with several agencies and associations to be more engaged.
“We look forward to doing a better job engaging with our community such as, when the Covid restrictions are lifted, working with our local Indigenous Elders and leaders to be involved in upcoming pow wows, building better relationships at the penitentiary staff and inmates, and our schools,” Bourque said. “We also look forward to interacting better with our elderly and working with our ASSET Youth Coalition to support our local youth in curbing potential poor choices. Lastly, we are looking forward to showing up at upcoming Block Party Program events, the Mother’s Day Parade and engage at least one youth representative to come to the table at the Drumheller Community Policing & Advisory Committee.”