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Fort Macleod RCMP set priorities

Fort Macleod RCMP will crack down on serious repeat offenders this year.
The detachment will also focus on drug education, property crime reduction and helping fight substance abuse.
Those are the priorities set out in the detachment’s annual performance plan for 2018-’19.
“Those priorities were chosen based on feedback,” Sgt. Bryan Mucha said.
The RCMP sought input from residents of Fort Macleod, Granum and the MD of Willow Creek in building the annual performance plan.
Mucha was at Fort Macleod town council’s May 14 meeting to discuss the annual performance plan.
Mucha said in the past year the police were able to arrest four serious repeat offenders for failing to comply with court orders.
Two of the offenders were from Lethbridge who have family ties to Fort Macleod.
Mucha told council the RCMP executed two search warrants with the assistance of ALERT which contributed to police laying 10 drug charges so far this year.
“They were very helpful to us,” Mucha said of the ALERT team, which has resources to carry out surveillance and execute search warrants.
With respect to reducing property crimes, Mucha said the RCMP will focus on educating property owners on steps to prevent crime.
Those steps include locking residence, business and vehicle doors and having outside lighting at night to eliminate so-called crimes of opportunity.
The RCMP will also work with Fort Macleod’s community peace officers to enforce by-laws dealing with panhandling and public intoxication.
“This has been a problem in the town of Fort Macleod for many years,” Mucha said.
The goal is to get people who have substance abuse problems get the help they need from support agencies, including Fort Macleod Family and Community Support Services and the Foothills Centre.
Police laid 37 charges related to panhandling, loitering and substance abuse in the downtown core in the first three months of the year.
Traffic law enforcement in town and on local highways, remains an RCMP priority.
Police issued tickets for 265 traffic violations last year, which was short of the target of 400.
Mucha said that is due to reduced staffing at the detachment due to a variety of issues.
Council asked Mucha whether an electronic sign that posts a vehicle’s speed would be useful in getting people to slow down in town.
“A sign out there may be really helpful,” Mucha said.
Mucha also told council about a new crime mapping tool being used by the RCMP.
The tool collects and posts crime data and is also intended to encourage people to report serious offences.
A test project was done at St. Albert and can be seen at https://stalbert.ca/city/maps/rcmp-crime-map.

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