Redcliff council meeting August 25 covers a lot of ground
By Samantha Johnson
At the regularly scheduled council meeting in Redcliff, Sergeant Michael Courty attended the meeting to present the 2022 crime statistics and municipal policing report.
Persons crimes are down 19% since 2021. Assaults are up 33% since 2021, but down 53% over past 5 years. Two victims dropped charges, for three there wasn’t sufficient evidence and three were cleared by charge with one still outstanding. Property crimes over the past quarter were down 4% and down compared to 2021. Break and enters are up by 25% over 2021. There were five break-ins, three onto commercial property with fences cut, which occurred at the same time as the crime spree in County. There was insufficient evidence to lay charges for the B&Es in Redcliff, but Sgt. Courty believed it was the same individuals responsible for the wider crime spree in the County and charges were laid against them from other incidents.
Theft under $5000 was up by 58% over 2021, there were 11 incidents in all. Some of these were due to gas stations that have pumps not requiring payment before fueling. Drivers assume they’ve already paid once fueled and drive off. When contacted, they usually return to the station to pay. Most incidents were vandalism or attempted theft from vehicles. Other incidents of mischief reported include obstruction or enjoyment of property, nuisance or noise complaints, loud music, or fireworks. Individuals turned down the music or were gone from area when police attended.
One initiative Sgt. Courty has put into place is having members use online training for crime prevention by environmental design. The training revolves around making property less attractive to crimes of opportunity and members will take their knowledge out into the community to assist those impacted by property crime. About 50% of members have completed the training so far.
Several changes have occurred over the past few months in staffing at the detachment. Sgt. Courty was the successful candidate for Detachment Commander position and, as he was already in the acting position, started immediately. Both corporeal supervisor positions were filled by promotion, one was already in the detachment, the other is coming from Chilliwack but needs to sell his house before he can move. Several soft vacancies remain and are presently being filled by overtime and switching of shifts.
Members have been active in community engagement, particularly during the Redcliff Days and parade. For some of the community groups that work together, such as the citizen advisory committee, new members need to be recruited in town and throughout the county. Liaison with other groups like rural crime, who haven’t had a meeting since before pandemic, also needs to be coordinated.
Overtime is higher due to that needed to compensate for the soft vacancies at the detachment. There is still as shortage of Commissionaires for guarding. When a Commissionaire is unavailable, the guarding is supplemented by members as overtime. The detachment is looking for additional guards and Commissionaires to fill those positions. Everything else is on target for the financial plan.
Council gave first reading to an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw to rezone an area across the highway from Light Industrial District to Highway Corridor Commercial District. Notice will be provided, and a public hearing advertised.
Redcliff is without Bylaw services due to medical leave (6 weeks) and council approved to appoint Kristina Colley, who will have powers under the Noise Control Bylaw, Nuisance and Unsightly Premises Bylaw, Garbage Rates and Collection Bylaw, and the Traffic Bylaw. RCMP will respond to the Restricted Animal Bylaw, along with the cat and dog control bylaws.
A letter was received by the Town regarding the street running through the 300 block of 1 Street SW. A motion was made to accept the letter for information and was defeated. A second motion to direct administration to assess the street compared to other roads and to determine what underground services are there was carried.
A meeting with Transportation Minister Panda at the Alberta Municipalities Fall Conference has been requested and there was considerable discussion about what topics should be raised without a resolution. A motion to cancel the request was defeated. A second motion to keep the request for a meeting and decide on a topic in the next few weeks was passed. There is no guarantee the meeting will be granted as it depends on availability of Minister Panda and how many municipalities request meetings.
The Municipal Managers report to Council was received for information. Dehumidifiers rented for use in the RecTangle are helping. Fog is no longer being created and condensation on the roof that would drop on the ice has been eliminated. The Town wanted to test them first to see if they work before approaching Council to buy some.