Sergeant Corey Blize from the St. Paul RCMP presented a delegation to council, and discussed forming a committee specifically geared towards the reduction of rural crime and crime within the Town of St. Paul.
The committee would work closely with the RCMP and would also, as a secondary objective, strive to increase and improve communication between St. Paul RCMP and town residents.
“The key with a committee like this is who you bring to the table,” Sgt. Blize said. “The people on this committee need to be capable assisting us in identifying key policing objectives in the community, and that only occurs when you carefully choose the right people from the right demographics.
“For example, if you were to form a committee tasked with reducing drug-related crime among high school-aged community members, how effective would that committee be if there was nobody there representing high school students?”
Sgt. Blize admits that there can often be some frustration with the RCMP in St. Paul, but that a lot of those frustrations are born of miscommunication.
“Committees, community liaisons; they can help us with public relations. Some people in town may not know the difference between calling 9-1-1, calling the complaint line, and calling the admin line, and that’s an important issue that a committee could help us solve.
“And sometimes, in a given situation, what’s most important for the public to understand is why we do, or don’t do, certain things. What might seem like the obvious solution may not be within our power or jurisdiction. Once that is understood, frustration is alleviated.”
There are already several organizations in place seeking to reduce crime in and around St. Paul, including foot patrols and neighbourhood watches, but these groups don’t directly assist the RCMP in “identifying key policing objectives.”
Sgt. Blize also suggested that Council consider the possibility of providing online Crime Maps, which would show the locations of property and rural crime within the last 14 days.