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Carstairs peace officers under new guidelines

Use of force, communications policies among those addressed

CARSTAIRS - Town council has approved a number of amendments to municipal guidelines for the community’s peace officers. 

The updates came by way of motions at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting, held by teleconference.

The policy regarding officers working with other agencies now reads, in part: “If a situation arises of a Criminal Code nature, the peace officers for the Town of Carstairs will not become involved without prior approval from the director or CAO. If the RCMP request assistance, (the officer) shall advise the director for authorization if not urgent and circumstances permit.

“If a peace officer needs to attend another area for enforcement, the director shall give prior approval. Peace officers employed for the Town of Carstairs will only assist Carstairs fire department as needed if within their scope.”

The policy for use of force now reads, in part: “The Town of Carstairs enforcement services personnel may have to use a defensive baton or oleoresin capsicum spray if authorized by their appointment to protect themselves or others.

The policy for peace officer communications now reads, in part: “If a peace officer is approached for a media release with regards to an active investigation, or any other information with regards to the Town of Carstairs, the director of protective services should be informed.

“If information is of a time sensitive nature, such as emergency related, information may be provided in the public interest. If any questions arise, the director will be advised.”

The policy for peace officer daily procedure has been amended in a number of sections. The guidelines section now reads, in part: “All information discovered through employment will not be discussed with the general public at any time.”

The purpose, role and function section now reads, in part: “The purpose of the peace officer program is to have a high police visibility, deal with issues such as traffic enforcement bylaw, as well as crime prevention and community involvement. Peace officers will also offer assistance when requested by the fire department or other external agencies such as RCMP."

The policy for peace officer vehicle/equipment procedure now reads, in part: “A pre-patrol inspection will be conducted on your vehicle prior to use. Ensure that lights are working as well as emergency equipment and there is no damage that has not previously been accounted for.”

Council passed motions approving the updated guidelines.

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