The Strathmore RCMP detachment and Rocky View County Enforcement Services are teaming up to host a virtual town hall meeting.
The aim of the town hall is to engage with constituents who the respective detachments serve and learn more about what they want to see from their police services.
Sgt. Mark Wielgosz said their goal through the meeting, and any subsequent town halls, is to let residents know what is being done about crime, and how the RCMP have formalized their policing priorities.
“Certainly, what residents are seeing from their perspective, to get feedback from residents, and also to give residents an opportunity to let their police service know what they want from us,” he said.
“We want to tailor our service to our residents, and then we’re here to serve our communities.”
According to Wielgosz, the town hall will be very similar to the event held with the Town of Strathmore on Oct. 25.
“What we’re seeking to do now in the county with Rockyview is to expand outwards for all the residents that we serve in Rockyview County, and going forward, we’ll be looking to do the same with our Wheatland County residents who are served by Strathmore detachment,” he said.
Senior management of the Strathmore detachment will be hosting the town hall from the Rocky View County building alongside Lorraine Wesley, the manager of enforcement services for Rocky View County.
Questions for the detachments were allowed to have been submitted in advance, and those who were interested in attended were invited to join the discussion via Microsoft Teams.
Wielgosz said he expects many of the questions that come up during the forum to be around property crimes, reducing theft of vehicles, break and enters, road safety and community engagement.
“Typically, in rural areas, people are interested in what we’re doing about rural crime, (and) what crime prevention strategies that we have in place,” he said.
Though another goal for the detachments is to be able to host similar town halls in person at later dates, for now as the province is still in a state of health emergency, the online format will continue to be the default.
“By holding a virtual town hall, number one, we can ensure that we’re keeping people safe, but number two, we’re making it easy and convenient for (people) to sign on from the comfort of their own home to listen to what we have to say and certainly launch their concerns,” said Wielgosz.
Regarding community engagement, the RCMP will also soon be rolling out a community liaison program which will attach members of the police service to community groups in order to gauge what people want from their police, as well as inform people what police actually do.
The forum was held on Nov 9, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. and took place on Nov 9, prior to publication.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times