By Cole Parkinson
The Municipal District of Taber, Town of Taber, and Taber Police Service are entering into a tri-party agreement for bylaw enforcement in the municipality.
After some changes within the M.D. of Taber’s community peace officer program, they’ve been left without any CPOs for the past few months. M.D. council and administration have been exploring all different options, and have agreed the best way to move forward was to partner with the Town and TPS.
“They used to have a peace officer program and that peace officer program finished when some staff changes happened. But the M.D. of Taber still had a requirement for municipal enforcement of some of their bylaws and provincial statutes and things,” explained Graham Abela, TPS chief. “And they had reached out to the RCMP to assist with that and the RCMP, they’re on hold doing enhanced positions — so, they were unable to assist at this time. The CAO for the M.D. reached out to the CAO for the Town of Taber and said ‘is there ways we could talk and come together to look for an alternative’, which could be the Taber Police Service Community Standards Unit performing municipal enforcement services in the M.D. of Taber.”
With the need for some bylaw enforcement, the TPS also explained to both municipalities they were available to provide the service. From several discussions between the municipalities and the TPS, it was determined things could certainly work — though they would still need approval from higher-ups in the Alberta government before it was finalized.
“The CAOs got together — I got asked whether or not that’s something that we could do and I said yes. Bylaw, we are able to do that as long as the proper permissions and approvals are in place. So, we approached the Ministry of Justice and the Solicitor General, spoke to the director of law enforcement, who was supportive of the idea, and gave us the information that they would need in order to approve the process, which will require RCMP supporting the program through a letter — as well as the councils of the Municipal District of Taber and the Town of Taber both having resolutions that moved to want to perform this joint service together in the Municipal District of Taber,” stated Abela.
The police chief also explained this partnership with the M.D. would be nothing new for the TPS as they have been working with M.D. fire departments for quite a few years.
“There are other services on top of the municipal enforcement program. So, for a long, long time, the Taber Police Service has been the call-taking and answering point for the fire departments that are in the M.D. of Taber, including the fire departments within the M.D. of Taber, as well as the Town of Vauxhall and the Town of Taber. So, we’re 24/7, 365, 9-1-1 public safety answering point,” added Abela. “We decided that what could work is that the Taber Police Service actually become their regional call-taking centre for non-emergency calls for the Municipal District of Taber, as well. So, we didn’t perform that function before, but moving forward, if this MOU is approved by the ministry we’ll also be performing that function.”
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