Members of the Red Deer RCMP downtown patrol monitor for drug activity and property crimes. (Advocate file photo).

Members of the Red Deer RCMP downtown patrol monitor for drug activity and property crimes. (Advocate file photo).

Two peace officers are training to join Red Deer’s downtown police patrol unit

This “integrated” unit will be the first in Alberta

Two peace officers will join Red Deer’s dedicated downtown police patrol this spring in a pilot project that’s a first for Alberta.

Although peace officers usually only deal with non-criminal matters, these two members will be trained to assist police officers with investigations into vandalism, mischief and minor property crimes, said Supt. Gerald Grobmeier of Red Deer RCMP.

“It will enhance their visibility and outreach to everybody in the downtown,” Grobmeier added.

There are now six dedicated RCMP officers who conduct foot, bike and vehicle patrols of the city’s core. The additional peace officers will boost the patrol to eight members.

Grobmeier added this will become the first integrated unit in Alberta. If successful, it could “grow” further, increasing the unit’s investigative capacity and strengthening relationships with the downtown community.

In other new innovations for 2021, Grobmeier is anticipating a new drug court, which is intended to lead more drug users to kick their habit or face judicial punishment.

He believes a new Alternative Measures program has already started in Red Deer. It allows first or second time minor offenders to be steered out of overloaded criminal justice system — if they complete community service or volunteer work, their charges will be withdrawn.

Grobmeier believes the citys’ new social diversion team, which allows trained social workers to respond to non-criminal disturbances instead of police, is already working because of more public calls to 211. The team started operating in January.

RCMP officers now do more police interviews by phone because of the pandemic, and a health assessment is required before an officer can enter a private residence.

Officers wear personal protective equipment, including goggles, for face-to-face interactions with the public.

Related:

-Online crime reporting an under-used option

-Cracking down on property crime, drugs are top police priorities

While ambulance workers and first responders have lobbied o move higher up on the vaccination priority list, Grobmeier understands the supply is limited, “and we have to go along with what AHS (Alberta Health Services) is saying… They are the experts.”

He reports that local crime fell significantly in 2020 — partly because of COVID-19, and more people staying home, but also as part of a downward trend over the last five years.

Since 2016, thefts, property crimes are down from 30 to 44 per cent. Break and enters were reduced by 23 per cent, while mischief crimes fell by 42 per cent.

Grobmeier credits Project Pinpoint, a strategy involving police targeting particular persons, places and behaviours that are known to be associated with criminal activity. This includes doing frequent police checks on people who were released from custody on conditions.

It entails increasing tracking of repeat offenders, patrolling of crime hot spots, and getting more officers establishing community relationships.

Insp. Holly Glassford, of Red Deer RCMP, hopes Red Deerians will help keep crime down by participating in pro-active programs, such as the voluntary video camera registry, the free online 529 Garage bike registry, and with online reporting of minor crimes.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

RCMP

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

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Ethan Rowland battles with Medicine Hat Tigers forward Brett Kemp during WHL action at the Centrium Saturday night. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers claw back, hand Rebels 11th straight loss

Tigers 5 Rebels 2 The same old issues continue to plague the… Continue reading

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees selected the name St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School to be built in the north end of Red Deer. (Photo Courtesy of  Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raises about $8,720 for Terry Fox Foundation

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raised about $8,720 for the Terry Fox… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Ontario Premier Doug Ford points on a COVID-19 caseload projection model graph during a press conference at Queen's Park, in Toronto, Friday, April 16, 2021. Ontario was set to backtrack on controversial new police powers to enforce stay-at-home orders implemented in the battle against COVID-19.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ford backtracks on new police COVID-19 powers amid intense backlash

TORONTO — Furious criticism of new anti-pandemic powers that allow police in… Continue reading

The official program for the National Commemorative Ceremony in honour of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, sits on an empty pew prior to the ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa on Saturday, April 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prince Philip remembered as ‘a man of great service’ during Canada’s memorial service

Canada’s commemorative ceremony in honour of the late Prince Philip offered a… Continue reading

CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy speaks to his players during the team's practice Tuesday, March 16, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
CF Montreal puts on a show, defeating Toronto FC 4-2 in MLS season opener

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — CF Montreal, carving open Toronto FC’s defence, cruised… Continue reading

Demonstrators using umbrellas as shields approach a point in a perimeter security fence during a protest over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright during traffic stop, outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minn. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Journalists allege police harassment at Minnesota protests

Some journalists covering protests over the police fatal shooting of Daunte Wright,… Continue reading

A container ship is docked in the Port of Montreal, Wednesday, February 17, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Montreal dockworkers begin weekend strikes as talks drag on

MONTREAL — Dockworkers at the Port of Montreal kicked off a series… Continue reading

Brad Dahr, 53, is facing numerous charges. (Photo contributed by Alberta RCMP)
Alberta man charged for alleged sexual offences against children

An Edmonton man has been charged for alleged sexual offences against children… Continue reading

A person walks past a COVID-19 mural designed by artist Emily May Rose on a rainy day during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off the job or coming into work while knowingly sick could warrant discipline in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Risky pandemic behaviour off the clock could mean workplace discipline: lawyers

CALGARY — Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off… Continue reading

Vials containing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 are seen at the San Marino State Hospital, in San Marino, Friday, April 9, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Antonio Calanni
China, Russia using their COVID-19 vaccines to gain political influence

OTTAWA — China and Russia have been using their locally produced COVID-19… Continue reading

Most Read