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Traffic safety part of Community Peace Officer role

January 18, 2023  By Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Jan. 18, 2023, Drumheller, Alta. – Some Drumheller residents have noticed Community Peace Officers (CPOs) parked at various locations throughout the valley conducting traffic safety enforcement over the last several weeks, and the questions have begun circulating in online discussion groups about when this became part of the job description.

There are multiple branches of peace officers in Alberta, including Fish and Wildlife and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers; while some peace officers are employed by the province, there are some who are employed through other organizations, such as municipalities or counties, and animal protection agencies.

“The Town (of Drumheller) employs peace officers who have the authority to enforce provincial traffic laws, as well as (municipal) bylaws,” Director of Protective Services Greg Peters tells the Mail.

In November 2019, the Alberta government announced it was expanding the roles and authorities of more than 400 peace officers across the province to help support rural RCMP detachments. These changes would allow peace officers in the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement branches, along with the traffic branch of Alberta Sheriffs to respond to a wider range of calls, and better assist RCMP in rural areas of the province.

At the time of the announcement, it was anticipated officers would be ready to carry out these duties by fall 2020.

“Enforcement from different agencies always augments and compliments each other and is a benefit to public safety,” says Drumheller RCMP Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant Rob Harms.

Not all peace officers are able to conduct traffic enforcement, however; only those peace officers with Level 1 certification are designated to perform this duty.

The Mail reached out to Mr. Peters to inquire as to how many peace officers currently employed by the Town have this training and are able to conduct traffic enforcement; however, Mr. Peters had not responded to our inquiries by press time.

– The Drumheller Mail

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