West Country highways could be more open to speeding motorists and unsafe drivers if two RCMP traffic officers are moved from Rocky to Red Deer, says a Clearwater County official.
The public is already concerned about a lack of police presence to stop traffic violators on Hwy 11, between the Sunchild Road and the Banff-Jasper Park Boundary, says Clearwater County manager Ron Leaf.
“If there’s a concern when (police) are only 25 minutes away, what’s the chance there will be more patrols if they’re located an hour and a half away?” questions Leaf, who believes the traffic officers’ focus will shift to Hwy 2.
Two traffic officers currently work out of the Rocky Mountain House detachment, but are managed out of Red Deer.
County officials were recently informed about an RCMP report that proposes moving these two officers to Red Deer by 2012.
Clearwater County Reeve Pat Alexander and other councillors are concerned there was no local consultation on this report — even though Rocky-area communities would be affected by the move.
“It’s a significant change and we just heard about this. We had no (advance) notification,” says Leaf, who hopes to meet with RCMP K-Division officials to hear the rationale for the move, as well as how it will affect local police service.
He adds that not only could traffic on Hwy 11 be affected by the move, but also traffic on Hwys 53, 54, 12, and 22 and various rural roads in the area.
Clearwater county officials are planning to meet with the RCMP deputy commissioner on March 16 at the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties convention to discuss the ramifications of the report.