Saskatchewan town votes to keep RCMP

The Canadian Press
September 22, 2017
By The Canadian Press
LANGHAM, Sask. — People in a small town in Saskatchewan have voted to stick with the RCMP instead of hiring their own police force.

A non-binding plebiscite was held this week asking whether Langham, Sask., ought to join in a regional police force with the nearby community of Dalmeny.

Dalmeny currently has its own police service with three full-time officers and the plan put forward in the plebiscite called for Langham to add an additional three officers.

The change to private policing would have cost $300,000 a year compared to $85,000 for the RCMP, leaving ratepayers with about $460 more on their property taxes to make up the difference.

Overall, 406 people voted no, while 38 voted yes. Around 1,300 people live in Langham.

Langham resident Shannon Lewis said she felt the existing police presence in town was adequate, and that the community doesn’t have much crime.

“You’re not always watching the streets to watch them drive by. So, they are here, it’s just you might blink and not see them,” Lewis said.

Curtis Penner said he felt RCMP were getting the job done.

“They have the tools to do the job fully. We’ve had some experiences in the past, say with municipal police, that have been perhaps less than positive at times,” Penner said.

Business owner Trevor Read said he voted for the town to get its own police because he wanted to see a beefed-up response to petty crimes like vandalism.

“We’ve lived in this area for 15 years, in town for eight, and it’s a very slow response time and very little presence,” he said.

Crime statistics posted to the Town of Langham website showed 57 incidents in 2015. Of those, 48 were either mischief or thefts from vehicles.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2017

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