By Cole Parkinson
With the Christmas season now behind us, the Municipal District of Taber Regional Enforcement Services were in M.D. council chambers to give an update to how their December went.
During the M.D.’s regular meeting on Jan. 25, councillors were given some stats about how busy the program was over the entirety of last month.
Over the time of Dec. 1 to Dec. 31, the CPO’s had 28 calls for service and 97 total community calls.
One of the biggest things the peace officers accomplished during the holiday season was completing check stops across the M.D. region.
“Our peace officers did do five check stops, that number always looks really funny. They did five days of check stops, so it might be counted as one check stop but in reality the potential of that check stop being multiple locations throughout the M.D. occurred that day,” said Kirk Hughes, development and community safety officer for the M.D. of Taber.
Even with the holidays over the officers have continued to set up check stops in the area, which has seen a big success for the group.
“On Sunday (Jan. 21) we did a check stop, joint with RCMP Traffic Services and Alberta Sheriffs, they stopped over 500 vehicles. That’s one check stop over one day, that’s how effective these check stops are,” added Hughes.
When the CPO’s did run check stops last month, they noticed that many of the cars they stopped had designated drivers.
With the season comes parties and in the past they have seen plenty of impaired drivers but this year seemed different as they rarely ran into that problem.
With the the lack of impaired drivers, the enforcement services staff is hopeful that the message of not drinking and driving will continue to pay off throughout 2018.
“A considerable amount of vehicles were stopped and only a handful of alcohol violations occurred. The message and the educational component of drinking and driving seems to be filtering into a lot of different areas that we’re on the roads and we’re checking for impaired driving,” said Hughes.
Hughes also added that he himself noticed, during the checkstops he participated in, many vehicles that stopped had a designated driver at the wheel.
“Officers reported, and I did a few check stops myself, it wasn’t uncommon to stop a vehicle and everybody was probably intoxicated except the driver. That message, forethought and planning has occurred and that’s exactly what we wanted to see.”
Another big task the CPO’s took on was patrolling rural roads across the entirety of the M.D. looking for stranded vehicles during the incredible cold streak that hit at the end of the year.
The report stated the officers reported helping several stranded motorists during the month of December.
On top of the work they did in the M.D., the two community peace officers also had a chance to re-up some of their training as they prepare for a busy 2018.
Officers Dana Butler and Henry Peters both had a busy December.
The two completed a number of different training including their re-certification in defensive baton and pepper spray, certification in the use of shotgun and they completed training in the administration of NARCAN, an antidote for overdoses due to opioids.
On top of all of the training and regular patrolling, they also hit plenty of schools and Christmas parties.
Now their focus shifts to the task at hand as 2018 looks to continue to be a hectic time for the program.