The Town of Penhold is making space for an RCMP satellite office.
In a move to save residents the drive to the Innisfail detachment for minor police business, Penhold is donating office space at the multiplex for a part-time RCMP office.
“We have shown them the office and they said it will work out great,” said Penhold Mayor Dennis Cooper, adding it comes with telephone and fax lines and computer connection.
Cooper said it is expected the office will give residents a convenient place to get a criminal records check, file an accident report or give a statement.
“Instead of having to go all the way to Innisfail to do everything, they can just come to the town office and there will be a member there,” he said.
Innisfail RCMP acting Staff Sgt. A.J. Mand sees a lot of potential in a satellite station.
Mand said he is waiting for some of the members to come off leave and get back to a full complement before putting the finishing touches on a schedule for the satellite office. To start, it will likely be open one afternoon a week or something similar.
The office is one part of the RCMP’s plan to raise its profile in the community.
“We’ll be in Penhold more and more because the community is growing so much,” said Mand.
“Last week alone, we had six files down there,” he said, adding police were investigating everything from assaults to thefts and stolen vehicles. “We definitely want to put more presence in Penhold as well.”
Mand said he just started teaching the DARE program, which instructs school children about the dangers of street drugs, in Penhold and he sees the satellite office as another way of connecting with the community.
“We’re hoping for information back and forth,” he said.
Innisfail detachment has 10 officers, a schools resource officer and two corporals. A vacant staff sergeant position has not yet been filled. A corporal and four officers are responsible for rural areas, but Penhold is regularly patrolled by any officers available.