By Cole Parkinson
As the Town of Vauxhall continues their search for bylaw enforcement, the Municipal District of Taber have given some information on what their community peace officers could provide.
Vauxhall administration met with the M.D. to discuss the possibility of adding the town to their regular patrols.
“Mindy and I met with Derrick (Krizsan, CAO for the M.D.) and Kirk Hughes (development and safety officer for the M.D.) and what they would like to know is what level of service you prefer or require. If there are some areas of bylaw enforcement or policing council would really like to see done, they can do moving violations which Jason (Schreiber current Vauxhall peace officer) couldn’t. They can deal with dogs and other bylaw infractions,” said Cris Burns, CAO for the Town of Vauxhall at a previous meeting.
The M.D. Regional Enforcement program, which houses the CPO’s, got its start in the fall last year and have so far gotten rave reviews.
Since the program’s inception, the CPO’s have been busy as they cover a lot of ground within the M.D. and they also assist the RCMP when needed.
The Town of Vauxhall isn’t the only municipality to request the CPO’s as the Village of Barnwell has also came forward about the potential of seeing them within their community.
In regard to fees in Vauxhall, administration discussed what exactly they would like to see.
“We did talk about fees and a flat rate, they were willing to go for it,” added Burns. “Our budget amount is around $30,000 for bylaw.”
Councillors also discussed what the hours would look like and the different rotations where they would see peace officers in the town.
With their arrangement with their current officer, some of council felt that they could cut back the hours.
Currently, the Town receives a few days of bylaw enforcement but with the CPO’s it would be more of an hourly commitment more than full days.
“Currently Jason provides two days per week for us and that includes travel time, Taber is closer,” said Burns.
Town staff added the rotation put forward by the M.D. peace officers would be fairly similar to what the RCMP’s patrols look like.
With thoughts of cutting back hours on bylaw enforcement, there would be a potential for savings in the budget area.
While the M.D. may be one option, there were several other ways they could proceed.
One of the options was to train their own bylaw officer or they could look at acquiring a Level 2 officer.
While all three were viable options, council seemed to favour going with the M.D. because of the close distance and what the officer can do as Level 1 officers.
“I think if we are needing to make the change, this is probably the logical way to go because they can deal with more of the problems we’ve had in the community,” said Mayor Margaret Plumtree.
With council agreeing with moving forward with the M.D., staff advised them that the M.D. was looking for a letter stating what exactly they would be looking for in terms of enforcement.
The councillors all agreed that they would be looking for Level 1 service throughout the town and that they would send a letter stating this.
Coun. Jake Wiebe was absent from the meeting.