More police presence in McLennan expected

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

RCMP at McLennan will do its best to have an increased presence in the town.

It’s the message delivered from Sgt. Alan Paterson after attending town council’s meeting May 8.

Council first discussed ways to improve policing at its April 11 meeting and concluded that a better or increased police presence in town would solve other problems such as mischief and vandalism.

“You never see them out playing with the kids,” said Councillor Marie-Anne Jones.

“It’s a group of boys going around town. The cops need to watch them,” Councillor Darlene Payou added referring to vandalism.

Paterson attended the May 8 meeting and heard the same message after asking council for input to build his policing program.

“Are you guys short right now?” asked Councillor Sue Delaurier.

Paterson replied the detachment had two “soft vacancies” meaning policemen were currently off work but expected to return shortly.

At full staff, the detachment is served by Paterson, one corporal and four constables.

Paterson was then asked if increased police presence was possible.

“We can definitely try,” said Paterson, adding would like to see more community engagement.

“I 100 per cent agree with that.”

Councillor Margaret Jacob agreed saying it was always better to be proactive than reactive.

Paterson was asked if the Caught Being Good program was still active. The program rewards citizens with prizes if “caught being good.” Paterson replied it has not been in effect since COVID in 2019.

“We need to see (police officers) out playing floor hockey and basketball with the kids,” said Jacob.

McLennan RCMP will supply basketballs to youth to play at the nearby court, but Paterson said few are provided because most youth have their own basketballs.

Mayor Jason Doris replied there were a few problem spots in town, especially the old hotel. He added, however, there was only so much police could do.

Jacob added if there was increased police presence in town, it would also give citizens more security.

Paterson urged council to forward all complaints to him at the detachment.

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