BLC asks for more police presence

High Prairie RCMP S/Sgt. Bryce Tarzwell says drug reduction and enforcement as well as increased presence in rural areas are priorities for the RCMP. Drug education for youth is also planned.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Citizens in High Prairie and the rural region can expect to see more police officers out in the community.
High Prairie RCMP S/Sgt. Bryce Tarzwell made that commitment to Big Lakes County council at its regular meeting May 25.
“I’m hoping you’re going to see a lot more officers out in the community,” Tarzwell said during a regular update to council.
Increasing police presence in the community was top of the list when council set its top three priorities for High Prairie RCMP and Faust RCMP at its regular meeting May 4.
Although not in order, council selected rural police visibility as a new priority from previous years.
Other priorities include:
-Drug reduction with education and enforcement;
-Crime prevention and habitual offender management specific to property crime, rural crime response time and persons crime.
Tarzwell said drug reduction and enforcement are also priorities as part of the annual performance plan for High Prairie RCMP and Faust RCMP.
He told council he wants to reach the younger generations to teach them about the dangers of illegal drugs and crime.
“I’m working on a plan to see if we can go into the schools to teach them when they’re young,” Tarzwell said.
“It all starts with education.”
Joussard Councillor Richard Mifflin said crime is a problem in hamlets and asked him if it’s related to drugs.
Tarzwell replied it is.
“That problem is leading to property crime. Drugs push people to crime.”
People remain vigilant to curb drugs in the region, he added.
“We’re going to try to get a handle on it,” Tarzwell said.
“We want to be visible in the community.”
He also wants police to conquer the problem.
“We want to keep drugs out of our area,” Tarzwell said.
“It affects everyone.”
Serving the Faust area, Reeve Robert Nygaard asked Tarzwell if Faust RCMP has a commander yet.
Tarzwell replied the RCMP is still on the search for a corporal.
Nygaard also asked if Faust RCMP officers were still having to drive to High Prairie to start their shift and then return to Faust as they were under the previous High Prairie detachment commander.
Tarzwell was advised by Nygaard about the practice when the commander met with council Feb. 9 after he became commander Dec 13, 2021.
Tarzwell replied Faust RCMP officers work from the Faust detachment station and are not required to report to High Prairie to start their shift.

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