The local RCMP detachment is out and about as summer is officially on in southern Alberta.
As per their monthly delegation to Municipal District of Taber council, their work over the last several weeks was highlighted at council’s regular meeting held on June 28.
The first note touched on by the RCMP delegation was on their monthly patrols in May. Hamlet recorded patrols saw eight in Enchant, 19 in Grassy Lake, and three in Hays for a total of 30. In regard to parks and campgrounds, the RCMP M.D. Park had one, Forks, Chin, Hays, and Grassy Lake all had zero, and Enchant had three, which totalled four.
“Patrols, I looked at these and they are low. They are low because with the changeover, and I said this last time, but the guys aren’t using their patrol logs. We will fix that we will be better going forward because they are really low and that’s not what’s happening. We’ll get that fixed so we are actually reporting what we are doing,” stated Sgt. Stu Gemmill.
One particular issue the local RCMP is dealing with is in regard to oil sites seeing wires being stripped for copper. In order to get a handle on this, the RCMP has called in a special unit to hopeful curb the issue.
“We’ve got a little bit of an issue that we’re working on with oil well sites being stripped of copper wire. We’re working with our detachments in the area and they are also seeing this. To our northern border, Brooks, Redcliff, and we’ve brought in the Calgary Crime Reduction Unit to help us with this. We’re doing what we can and we’re trying to get that figured out,” added Gemmill.
“Are they running industrial sites? Do they shut the power off and strip the wire?” asked Coun. John Turcato.
Gemmill explained that in most cases, the power was not shut off.
“What the investigators have been told is some of these people are lucky to be alive because they aren’t shutting the power off — they’re just cutting the wires and hauling it out.”
Turcato also inquired about security systems in place at well sites.
“I know a lot of this stuff has security on it, so if anything goes down, the operator gets called. Is there a possibility people may be running into these individuals?” he asked.
“Sometimes they’ll get called saying ‘hey, your power is down’, but sometimes they aren’t finding out until a week later,” replied Gemmill. “Some sites don’t have a lot of security and since they aren’t getting noticed right away, evidence is lost and it makes things difficult. It’s something we are working with, but we do have some stuff we can do and we are talking to the site owners about what they can do to help us in the future.”
Another positive development for the Taber/Vauxhall RCMP comes in the fact they are back to full operating capacity this summer.
“It’s been a good month and we’re back up to (full) staff as a couple of days ago. We got our amber back from PAT leave and the detachment is running at full staff,” added Gemmill.
Council also had questions around 9-1-1 hangups in the M.D. In May, the RCMP had 26 of those calls throughout the municipality and it was asked if the RCMP had checked in on all of them.
“Yes, if it’s linked to an address, we absolutely have to go check just to make sure there is nothing wrong. Most of the time they have been figured out by our dispatch They talk to them. But if it’s linked to an address, we go. Some of them come from cellphones and we aren’t able to get an exact location on where they are. We will drive out there and take a look, but sometimes it’s a 24,000-metre radius, which is 24 kilometres, so it’s tough,” replied Gemmill.