M.D. of Bonnyville Peace Officers will not be given the authority to deploy shotguns while on patrol.
In the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan, the M.D. of Bonnyville Council asked to lobby the Government of Alberta for increased authorities for the M.D. Peace Officers. The shotgun authority was researched because of the need to dispatch injured wildlife in a timely manner. With the RCMP and/or Fish & Wildlife officers busy schedules they are often unable to attend immediately. Shotguns would not be a means of protecting the Peace Officer or members of the public from criminal behavior.
Matt Janz, is the General Manager of Environmental and Protective Services for the M.D. of Bonnyville.
“With further investigation in having shotguns within the Peace Officers Department, there is an amount of risk associated with accidental discharge or having negative feedback from dispatching wildlife in the public,” Janz told Elected Officials. “Currently, Administration is recommending not to pursue this enhanced shotgun authority.”
On Aug 11, The M.D. of Bonnyville Council made a unanimous decision not to grant Peace Officers that authority.
“At this point, Administration does not think the risk is worth the reward with having this enhanced authority,” Janz said. “The RCMP have roughly 50 officers in the area with multiple Fish & Wildlife Officers available to dispatch wildlife.”
By not proceeding with the increased authority, Council will save the M.D. of Bonnyville approximately $20,500 by not having to outfit all patrol vehicles with trunk mounts, certify all members with the necessary credentials (PAL/qualifications), ammunition, ancillary tools (cleaning supplies), and miscellaneous expenses.