Peace officer makes presentation to county council

Ponoka County council met with one Don Ahlquist, one of its peace officers, to discuss his suggestions on improving the peace officer

Ponoka County council met with one Don Ahlquist, one of its peace officers, to discuss his suggestions on improving the peace officer role.

The county has two peace officer positions, but council recently approved the budget for an enhanced RCMP position in Rimbey. Funds will be used from one of the peace officer roles, which leaves only one peace officer position available. It was decided to have that position open for applicants, and Ahlquist, who has worked for the county full time for the last six years, told council he would support the county no matter its decision. He thanked CAO Charlie Cutforth for working with him to sort out any challenges they had. He also felt he was able to keep the public safe during his employment and he had six ideas he felt could improve the role:

• Implement an operational budget. “This will provide the office in charge a means to effectively attend to the fiscal health of his department.”

• Establish a shift schedule to determine the needs of the officer. He feels it has always been an issue and it would compel officer compliance. “We’ve had tremendous difficulty in achieving that goal.”

• Office space. He feels the confidential nature of peace officer enforcement needs to have a secure place for documents. “A secure and inconvenient location… would be preferable.” Logs should be used as well.

• Orders should become prioritized.

• GPS is needed.

• A code of conduct or chain of command if there are multiple officers. “At least provide the framework for growth should growth occur.”

He also offered to volunteer his time to assist with the transition should the county hire someone else.

Coun. Paul McLauchlin thanked Ahlquist for his suggestions and asked if peace officers already had a GPS unit.

“The GPS system doesn’t give us any officer safety, what it does is identify where we are, but there is no feature to push a button and say here is where I am,” explained Ahlquist.

There is however a callout to dispatch to notify of their location.

CAO Charlie Cutforth said he was unsure about the operational budget beyond what the county already has, but he was glad to see Ahlquist’s suggestion for a shift schedule.

“It’s one thing to establish the shift schedule, it’s another thing to live by,” said Cutforth.

He did not disagree about the office space issues. “We’re short of space.”

Ahlquist concluded by thanking council for their time.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revenue Canada, RCMP don’t accept Bitcoin: police

RCMP issue Bitcoin warning posters

Wolf Creek Public Schools’ buses are cancelled and schools are closed

High schools will remain open only for students writing diploma exams

Wolf Creek buses not running today

Extreme cold warning in effect

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

Alberta says universities over-budget; need to freeze travel, hiring, hosting

Demetrios Nicolaides says spending is not meeting expectations

Over 16,000 people nabbed by RCMP between border crossings in 2019

In 2019, 63,830 claims were filed, up from 55,040 in 2018

Most Read