By Anna Smith
• Bow Island RCMP detachment being reopened
With the amalgamation of the Bow Island and Redcliff RCMP detachments being cancelled, residents can look forward to a stronger, more community-oriented approach to policing in the County of Forty Mile.
In a delegation at the November 21 Forty Mile County Council, Corporal Phillipe Beaupre visited to address the coming changes and answer Council’s questions on how best to serve the community. Beaupre is originally from the Taber RCMP, but has filled the position of Detachment Commander in Bow Island for the past two months.
“As you might have heard, we are reopening the Bow Island detachment. We have decided to cancel the amalgamation that had been going on for a couple of years now, with the Redcliff detachment, and we are bringing all of our members back to Bow Island,” said Beaupre. “And furthermore, we are going to get some new positions added as well.”
Beaupre was able to share some recent statistics with council, such as the number of Criminal Code offences from July to September 2023, but admitted to being unsure of how accurate they may be, as until recently, most of the detachment members had been spending their time largely in Redcliff.
Beaupre continued that they are currently pushing for recruits to land in Forty Mile, presently, with an end goal of having six positions filled in the detachment. One major success for this goal is that they have been able to keep a house in Foremost for those looking to move out here.
“The great news is that I was successful, was able to convince them to keep that house and we’re even going to look at renovating it to make a duplex out of it,” said Beaupre. “So I’ve got a few members that are interested in moving back here and Foremost. That’s great news for the community.”
Beaupre sought Council’s input on priorities for the region, with traffic enforcement for driving under the influence, patrolling of the 40 Mile Park area, and property crime all being listed as areas that they felt needed to be given priority.
One of the biggest concerns, as brought up by Reeve Stacey Barrows during the meeting, was a perceived lack of positive police presence in their communities. It was requested that the officers endeavour to be present outside of when they need to write tickets or deal with disturbances, to build trust and relationships within the communities they serve.
“I know that it’s important to be part of the community. I know that it’s important to be more than just the guys that give tickets,” said Beaupre. “So we have to be a positive influence for the people in their communities and we have to make them know that we’re there for them.”
Council expressed positive feelings after the meeting, hopeful to see what these changes in the current RCMP presence will mean for ratepayers.