By Greg Price
Sgt. Kevin McKenna of the Taber/Vauxhall RCMP detachment was on hand at Barnwell council’s meeting on Oct. 15 to introduce himself as the commanding officer of the detachment to councillors and also issue the September report for Barnwell.
McKenna talked of his law enforcement history, where he was an officer with the Taber Police Service back in May 1977, which lasted 14 1/2 years. From there, McKenna joined the RCMP in 1991, and started in The Pas, Manitoba detachment.
While there, he spent seven years on the underwater recovery team. McKenna’s RCMP career continued in St. Paul, Alberta in 1999, spending three years there doing general policing, before switching to plain-clothes enforcement with Integrated Border Enforcement.
In 2010, McKenna got promoted to corporal for the Crowsnest Pass detachment.
His latest promotion to sergeant had him making his way back to the area for the Taber/Vauxhall RCMP detachment.
“You had some longevity in some of those places, so that sounds good,” said Eric Jensen, mayor for the Village of Barnwell.
McKenna looked over the RCMP stats for September 2015, and they involved 12 calls for service, equal to the 12 that were in September 2014.
“We are here to help you and when I look at the stats when I first got here and looked at some issues in the area, you are not having a crime wave in Barnwell by any means,” said McKenna. “You are in a very safe community. It is nice to see communities that are not having the major crime issues. Southern Alberta tends to be quieter than what you see up north with alcohol issues. Your healthy here where I see a lot zeros in the columns (for the report).”
Of the 12 calls for September in Barnwell, four involved thefts, one Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, one other Criminal Code, two assistance to police/other agencies/general public, one suspicious person and three administration files.
“The stuff you are seeing isn’t major stuff. Your one for drugs was a checkstop, and it was such a small amount they didn’t lay charges. It was 1.4 grams (of marijuana),” said McKenna.
“So it’s not like you have a drug trafficker.”
Barnwell Deputy Mayor Darrell Turner inquired if the RCMP had set schedules or times they did patrols.
“We do patrol sheets that they give their supervisors. If I’m seeing zeros on that sheet (for patrols of Barnwell), I start asking questions of why you are not out there,” said McKenna.
“I’ll be honest with you, they’ll go where the calls take them. We’ve had some major cases this past month and still doing the paperwork on two major cases. They will get out here as much as they can, and I’ll promise you, there will be patrols, but they will go where the action is, looking for stuff. I have heard some concerns people do not see patrol cars during school hours and I’ve made that a priority of mine.”
In the monthly traffic report, there were three tickets issued, one for speeding, one for an intersection infraction and one non-moving.