By Justin Seward
Bow Island/Foremost RCMP detachment is fully staffed after experiencing a few months recently of being short officers.
“It’s never fun when you’re short,” said Staff Sgt. Neil Bailey.
“We rely on Redcliff and Taber. But now we’re fully staffed , in saying that they’re still all new and two (officers) are on field training. It’s still you’re short even though you have the bodies.”
Bailey says while officers got the job done, they still relied on other detachments and even called in people from far away as Brooks for overtime.
Bailey says by the summertime the officers will be fully trained.
The Bow Island detachment has been a full detachment since Dec. 31, 2019w with all the new recruits coming from RCMP Depot.
“Since June of 2019 we’ve had one come in June, one come in October and one come on Dec. 31,” said Bailey.
Bailey says with the new recruits, the one senior member (Cst. Falyn MacLaughlin), she monitors her day to day work and guides them along, while he takes care of the close supervision and paying attention to their investigations and answering any questions they have.
The newest constables are Andre Larche, Ashton Zintel and John Yukee.
The new officers will be on a four year term in Bow Island as a Limited Duration Posting.
“Good, because there is a work/life balance,” he said.
“Members can go on training and the top of list would be client satisfaction. The public will get a better service when there’s more people working.”
The new officers will notice a more of community policing aspect to a smaller town.
“There’s a lot less calls for services. It’s alot of self generated work,” said Bailey.
“A lot of being out on the road either doing traffic stops, lots of engaging (with)the youth through going to schools and just stopping and talking to them on the streets. Whereas in a bigger spot like a Red Deer, they’re going from call-to-call. It’s more of a reactive policing.”
Bow Island Mayor Gordon Reynolds says he realizes that it’s a policing decision where officers get sent but they do get the opportunity from his understanding that they can put preferences on lists and Bow Island has been on their lists when they come out depot.
“We’re happy to have people come and work here and be a part of the community that actually want to be here,” he said.
“I think a small community like this is a good transition for somebody coming out of depot . We don’t have a real high crime rate and they can still get some experience and get their feet wet so to speak without being overwhelmed hopefully.”
“It’s a way for some of the folks that come in here that are from larger places and not even Alberta, they get a taste of rural Alberta life.”
“We certainly appreciate that the local detachment commander is committed to community policing and having his constables involved the community as much as possible,” said Reynolds.
“It helps strengthen the community and it brings a level of cooperation between the community and the police. Certainly the relationship, and this goes back to the some previous NCO (Neighbourhood Coordination Officer) that have been here has been good and we find that they communicate well with us on a regular basis. We take our concerns to them and they seem to respond.”