Sunday , 16 January 2022
Mike Dunsmore, right, has been promoted. Image submitted.

New Chief of Police in Vermilion

Sgt. Mike Dunsmore was recently promoted from his Corporal status to Sergeant, making him the new Chief of Police in Vermilion.

Dunsmore has been the acting detachment commander for the past three months.

“On behalf of council, congratulations on your achievement and your sergeant rank. Thank you for your service to the community, and we look forward to your continued services,” said Mayor Caroline McAuley.

Dunsmore shared the Vermilion RCMP’s fourth quarter report regarding statistics from January 1 – March 31, at the town council meeting on Tuesday, April 6.

The Vermilion Detachment is currently staffed with 7 of 9 officer positions. One officer position and one support staff position will be filled shortly. The only open position is his own due to the promotion.

“We had a constable transfer out to southern Alberta, and the replacement will be a member whose wife’s family is in this area, and has about seven years of previous service (coming from the Central Alberta District),” said Dunsmore.

Council had the opportunity to review crime categories including persons, property, drugs, federal, provincial, and municipal.

“This is the meat and potatoes – this is what I’m really quite proud of,” said Dunsmore.

“We’ve seen a decrease entirely across the board until the provincial code traffic, but that’s a positive because it means there is more enforcement and charges being laid. There’s been a 50 per cent decrease in motor vehicle collisions. Things are looking very good.”

He also provided a breakdown in relation to their three priorities for the year. Priority 1 is crime reduction, referring to property crime or break and enters. During the fourth quarter, the Vermilion RCMP recorded a 33 per cent decrease in break and enters.

“This far exceeded our target and is attributed to the implementation of our integrated offender management program. We have identified offenders responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime, and pay them extra attention,” said Dunsmore.

When engaging the public (Priority 2) he said they had some challenges in observing pandemic precautions, and were only able to meet two of their four local engagement goals. However, they did meet the RCMP’s goal of two.

Enhancing road safety was Priority 3, and Dunsmore said it involved getting members out on road for officer/violator contacts – not just writing tickets, but exercising discretion, and educating them.

The goal set for the year was 168, and they exceeded it by making 180 contacts which will become their new goal for the upcoming year.

“It’s really encouraging to see numbers like this. I’d like to thank yourself and the staff for all that you’ve been doing – it certainly bodes well,” said Councillor Greg Barr.

About Angela Mouly

Angela comes to Lakeland Connect after leaving traditional newspaper where she spent the past four years reporting on community events. Her repertoire includes writing about history, politics, agriculture, sports, entertainment and art. She was the third place recipient of an AWNA General Excellence Award for “Best Front Page” during their 2016 Better Newspaper Competition. Angela has lived in rural Alberta all her life and in Vermilion for the past 15 years. She looks forward to continuing to serve and inform the Lakeland community by joining in people's many adventures and sharing their stories.