Crime prevention a top priority for Big Lakes County

Richard Froese
For the Lakeside Leader

Preventing crime in Big Lakes County has been set as the top priority by council.

At its Feb. 27 meeting, council approved three priorities for high Prairie and Faust RCMP for the 2019/20 fiscal year. At the top of that short list is crime prevention and monitoring repeat offenders against people and property.

Second on the priority list is police-community relations, which includes visibility in the community.

Reducing drugs is the third priority for council.

“They’re all important,” said reeve Richard Simard at the meeting.
County CAO Jordan Panasiuk said drug reduction is the focus of the enhanced policing contract, which expires in August. The county will review the contract in the coming months.

One councillor said drug reduction should not be an issue only for enhanced policing.

“Why can’t the police do that?” asked Ken Killeen.

All three priorities of council were suggested by Staff Sgt. Warren Wright in his letter to council. Wright also listed traffic safety and safety of seniors as other priorities.

Reducing crime and drugs were the top priorities last year.

“Staff Sgt. Wright is encouraging council to provide only the top three priorities, as they should be identified in order for the initiatives to have meaningful impact,” said Panasiuk.

Wright stated his position in his letter.

“This provides consistency in our regional policing approach to the benefit of all communities,” he wrote. “Most of our pro-active time will be focused on the three highest priorities as identified by our communities.”

Wright noted that police would also be monitoring other suggested priorities not approved by council.

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