The Town of Vermilion hosted a Community Conversation last week to allow residents to learn about recent projects and interact with council.
Residents also had the opportunity to meet with local RCMP Corporal, Mike Dunsmore, who said the aim for RCMP was to remain available and open to the public and obtain feedback from residents on what was important to them.
“This is your community, we are your representatives, and we are only as good as we can be if we work together,” said Dunsmore.
“The police rely on citizens to be our eyes and ears when we aren’t there. I think it’s essential to keep an open dialogue, but even more so now when we are all practicing social distancing and avoiding unnecessary contact with each other. Residents need to know that we are approachable and to see the person inside the uniform.”
Throughout the evening he received questions on everything from their partnership with the Alberta Sheriffs, to response times, and youth Alternative Measures. He also heard remarks of appreciation from people receiving prompt response to calls for service.
He assured residents that even though there will be members leaving the detachment, they have taken measures to find replacements ahead of time so they will see less interruptions in service delivery. In addition to the members in Vermilion, he said the County of Vermilion River has funded two enhanced policing positions in Kitscoty that Vermilion can call for assistance without having to draw services from further away.
Mayor, Caroline McAuley, discussed an increase in policing budgets over the next few years coming down from the province. She said the first year will increase by $90,000, $130,000 the next year, and $225,000 after four years. Though RCMP says it is not related directly to the detachment, she remains hopeful it will translate to more boots on the ground.
She also discussed ongoing business and said the McDonald’s restaurant will be constructed next June to be tentatively open in September. She said the town is continuing their work on the Waste Water Treatment Plant, and will resume fundraising for a new ice plant.
“Thank you for taking time out of your day to come, and you are always invited to come to council meetings to share in public commentary,” said McAuley.