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Innisfail RCMP 2024-25 priorities set after public weighs in

Local Mounties will once again focus on safety concerns related to drug and property crime, traffic safety and police visibility
Innisfail RCMP Staff Sgt. Ian Ihme, the local detachment commander, presents proposed strategic priorities and initiatives for the community at Innisfail council's regular meeting on April 8. Johnnie Bachusky/MVP Staff

INNISFAIL – RCMP in Innisfail is keeping the same list of strategic priorities for the town for 2024-25 year as the ones presented last year for the annual performance plan for policing.

Once again, the Innisfail RCMP will focus on crime reduction, increased police visibility and traffic safety.

The RCMP’s plan for policing in Innisfail was presented by Innisfail RCMP Staff Sgt. Ian Ihme at Innisfail town council’s regular meeting on April 8.

Council was presented with two motions for approval from administration.

Council unanimously approved the Innisfail RCMP strategic priorities and the corresponding policing initiatives for 2024-25, and secondly, to authorize the town’s chief elected official to sign the Annual Performance Plan Letter.

Ihme told council that members of the Innisfail Policing & Safe Community Committee met on March 13 and reviewed the completed 2024 Innisfail Community Safety & Well-being Survey.

“What was good this year was we definitely had much more input than the last two years on the survey, but what was interesting is that most of the responses we've received are fairly similar to the last few years I've been involved with the survey,” Ihme told council, adding citizens’ top safety concerns were related to drug and property crime.

“It's very similar to last year. They were also concerned about visibility of police and interactions of us with citizens, as well as traffic safety issues,” added Ihme. “What we saw definitely is that the concerns citizens have has not really changed compared to the last few years.”

Ihme said the detachment also met with Red Deer County council and Penhold leaders to get their input as both municipalities do not yet have their own policing committees.

With the information gathered from multiple engagements, the Innisfail RCMP has also decided to continue with several community initiatives that have proven successful, said Ihme.

He said as far as the police visibility issue the detachment will continue to have at least two town hall meetings a year.

Ihme said the Positive Youth Ticketing Program will also continue.

He said in rural areas the detachment is planning on school visits. Ihme noted the detachment has a school resource officer for the town and the rural visits will be facilitated by other police officers.

“The county has asked that we add the creation of a rural police accountability committee as one of my objectives for the year, which is making sure we get citizen feedback from the rural community,” said Ihme.

He told council the detachment is continuing with its Habitual Offender Program, as well as checks on habitual crime properties where crime is more prevalent.

Ihme said the detachment will also be partnering with outside crime reduction teams and even Red Deer RCMP on dedicated days to locate and arrest offenders wanted on warrants in the Innisfail area.

As for traffic safety issues, Ihme said his detachment will continue with priorities of high visibility, traffic operations, and dealing with provincial violation tickets.

Coun. Jason Heistad told Ihme he recently received a compliment from a citizen about a local RCMP officer walking up and down Main Street and being visible in the downtown core.

“It’s gotten to the point over the years where it would be odd to see police officers walking around, and we want that to be the norm, and that they (citizens) just expect that,” said Ihme in response to Heistad’s comment. “It’s much easier to approach somebody when they're walking as opposed to when they're driving around.

“We want it to be noticed, and we want it to keep going.”

Johnnie Bachusky

About the Author: Johnnie Bachusky

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