By Jasmine Franklin
Fasten your seatbelts and watch your speedometer — Ponoka County’s newest edition to the force will help keep roads and the community safe.
Peace officer Derek Lewko, 33, has been part of the Ponoka County enforcement team for several weeks.
“I’m on patrol duty and so far it’s been really good,” Lewko said.
Lewko will handle general duty patrols and enforce county bylaws such as noise complaints and yard maintenance. His traffic duties include checking for seatbelt infractions, malfunctions with vehicle signal lights and brake lights, speeding and drinking and driving checks.
A second officer was hired after head Const. Don Ahlquist needed additional patrol assistance for the area.
“There’s a lot to cover here,” Lewko said. “There’s around 1,400 miles of country roads.”
For the past three years, Ahlquist has been the only peace officer for Ponoka.
Lewko was a radio and television broadcaster in Saskatchewan when he decided he wanted to follow law enforcement. He graduated Lethbridge Community College from the criminal justice program in 2001 and immediately got hired as a peace officer in Red Deer under the traffic division where he remained for four years. He then worked with the inspection division for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission for five years and is back to do patrol officer duty.
“We needed to see more enforcement, so here I am,” Lewko laughed.