With the calendar year of 2021 having drawn to a close, Strathmore RCMP detachment commander Mark Wielgosz is thinking about how to improve police services and community engagement.
Though it’s always something the detachment is actively considering, Wielgosz said community engagement and visibility remain high priorities to the detachment.
“Community engagement is big for us, we like to meet with people where they are in the community and that’s a big proponent of community policing, where our members are interacting with the community,” said Wielgosz. “Overall, I can say with our crime reduction measures with property crimes and road safety, our numbers are down from last year, so that’s certainly a positive.”
Though, he added, there have been fluctuations in the past few months, overall, the numbers are looking good and like an overall improvement. It’s a trend he hopes to see continue.
For residents who are curious, Wielgosz regularly posts the detachment’s crime statistics on the Town of Strathmore website.
The Strathmore RCMP is also employing a community liaison program in which select community groups have officers assigned to them in order to increase engagement and feedback with the community.
“It’s also to have that contact person should there be a need to contact the police or even just simply a matter of seeking out further information for community safety type initiatives,” said Wielgosz.
Alongside community engagement, crime prevention programs are consistently under development. One such example is the Habitual Offender Management Program, where offenders are selected based on the volumes of crimes they commit, seriousness of crimes they committed and the impact they are to the community.
“What that is designed to do is to put our focus on those who are committing the majority of crimes in our area, mainly to ensure that they are abiding by court order conditions, if any,” said Wielgosz.
“And, (we) intend to ensure that they are aware, that we are aware of their presence within the community.”
The overall goal being for previous offenders to remain law-abiding residents. Wielgosz added the detachment also has a security scan program which is soon to see implementation to aid in license plate theft reduction.
“It is a bit of a problem in our area and our general region where offenders will steal license plates off a vehicle similar to ones that they’re operating, which is a stolen vehicle, to remain undetected,” explained Wielgosz.
“This is a way we can protect residents from being victims of crime with having their license plate stolen.”
If any residents wish to provide input or their thoughts about their local police services, the Strathmore detachment maintains an ongoing survey online for folks to make their thoughts and opinions known.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times