Acting detachment commander for the RCMP in Elk Point, Corporal R. Burgess, attended Elk Point’s Town Council meeting on February 11 with some welcome news: RCMP out of the Elk Point detachment attended to 56 fewer files in 2018 than in 2017.
The total number of files for 2018, though, is 2913, which represents an average of 485 files per member for the year. A breakdown of the statistics shows that property crime “is skyrocketing,” as Burgess explained, with an increase from 862 to 943 reports; homicides rose from 4 to 5, and violent person crimes remained fairly consistent, with 405 reported in 2017 and 393 reported in 2018.
Burgess commended the community on reporting suspicious vehicles and persons which has been valuable in leading to solutions to crimes, especially thefts in rural areas. RCMP are investigating leads that should help to conclude a case on copper wire thefts.
Due to the recent cold weather and the incarceration of some prolific offenders, 2019 has started quietly for the local detachment. The lull in active files has given members time to get established in their new building on Railway Avenue and to work out “a few kinks,” such as problems with weatherstripping and plumbing. The grand opening has not yet been scheduled, but may be in April. Meanwhile, the old building is being decommissioned to be sold.
Changes to personnel in the detachment include the departure of Constable C. Tymensen who is heading to Fort St. John. Constable B. Desaulniers is the acting constable now. Sgt D. Henry will be coming in as the new detachment commander as of the end of April.
Burgess is looking forward to the establishment of a three person crime reduction team for the Cold Lake, Fishing Lake, Elizabeth Settlement, and Bonnyville area. The RCMP were directed to put together a package explaining what the costs would be, and a request for funding from IDA 349 money from the Air Weapons Range is currently before the minister for approval. Funds in the area of $900,000 to $1,000,000 may be available.
Because of an observed increase in motor vehicle offences, drivers should expect an increase in the number of tickets being issued. Elk Point’s CAO, Ken Gwozdz, added that the town by-law officer has identified fire lanes and will be ticketing vehicles parked in these lanes.