By Cole Parkinson
With summer still in full swing, the Taber/Vauxhall RCMP detachment continues to add staff to the fold.
Cpl. Gord Yetman was at both Municipal District of Taber council and Vauxhall council meetings in July to update both sets of councillors on some of the things going on at the detachment.
One of the things he highlighted to the councils was the growing staff levels and to dispel the myth that the detachment was well below the needed manpower.
“Contrary to popular belief, we are at full staffing levels. I’ve heard talk around town that we’re understaffed and what not but that’s certainly not the case. We may find ourselves in the very near future in a position where we could be two surplus. We have a gentleman coming in from Red Deer, he’s purchased his house, he’s sold his house (in Red Deer) and his first day of work will be August 1, I believe,” he said at the M.D. council meeting held last month.
“A member from Redcliff just got his transfer yesterday, so the wheels are in motion for him. We still have Cst. (Justin) Buit who hasn’t sold his house.”
Buit has been with the Taber/Vauxhall detachment since 2012 and has been one of the longer serving members for the local RCMP.
“Tell him he can stick around as long as he wants,” said Reeve Brian Brewin with a chuckle.
As more members are incoming, soon the Taber/Vauxhall detachment will find itself a bit more full.
With that in mind, Yetman is fully prepared to operate with a few extra members and has plans already on how he will go about using them.
“If I do find myself two surplus, I plan on using those members in a very tactical manner, shall we say. I want to deploy them out into the M.D. a bit more,” he explained to the M.D. council. “If I can run one or two surplus, I’d be happy to do it. We all know, along with any other industry, you’re good today, you may not be so good tomorrow.”
While focus at the detachment has been on staffing levels and how each member will fit in their plans, they have also been working on a few different projects.
One of the bigger initiatives they have been working revolves around a public accessible crime map that updates with current crime trends and hot spots throughout the region.
Yetman expects the project to see a roll out date in the not too distant future.
“We’re also looking at a public-facing crime map. I think I may have approached Cris (Burns, Town of Vauxhall CAO) with this. That’s going to be a way for the general public to go on and see where some hot spots are in the are in terms of crimes that have happened. If there have been thefts, you’ll be able to view the map and get a general idea of where they are occurring. You won’t get the specific location, for obvious reasons, but you’ll see where the problem spots have been. That’s something we’ll look at rolling out in the near future,” he explained to the Vauxhall council at their meeting held in July.
He also highlighted several other initiatives that are rolling out through the province including two crime reduction units that are hoping to take the burden off some of the rural areas.