The following are selected briefs of the March 10 meeting of the Taber Municipal Police Commission.
Feb. 11 Closed Session
The following are resolutions passed by the commission at the conclusion of the closed session (in camera) portion of the meeting.
The commission voted unanimously to request Chair Ken Holst write a letter to M. Amorelli regarding his concerns. No information on the subject or context of the issue was included in the minutes.
Alberta Association of Police Governance Annual Conference Insurance Information
The commission voted unanimously to accept as information details of the conference regarding insurance requirements for delegates. The 2016 Alberta Association of Police Governance Conference is being hosted in Taber from April 22-23 at the Heritage Inn.
Chief Graham Abela’s Report
The following excerpts and statistical information is taken directly from Chief Abela’s written report to the commission.
Community Involvement: “Chief attended the senior dinner at the Community Centre. Congratulations to Mrs. Leahy for winning the Senior of the Year Award.”
“Cst. Gyepesi worked with ACE Place Learning Centre and went to Arizona to compete with the school team on a desert wilderness adventure competition. Money for this was provided by TCAPS to ACE Place, proceeds of the Giroux Memorial Golf Tournament.”
Training: “Cst. Vowles and Cst. Dube are undergoing ISEP 300 training in Medicine Hat. Consists of three separate two day cohort style learning opportunities followed by an online component. For your information, ISEP is a suite of courses that range from a 100 level course to a 400 level course. Four hundred is considered the major crimes designated course in Alberta. I sit on the provincial ISEP Curriculum Committee that ensures the content and context of the course is kept up to date.”
“Sgt. Kehler attended an advanced search warrant writing course and successfully completed the training.”
“I attended an emergency operations centre mock scenario put on by the deputy fire chief. Dana Bell and Arlene Wong also attended. The scenario was made to test our ability to strike up the EOC in a timely fashion.”
Equipment: “As budgeted, we are purchasing the new generation Taser to deploy within the patrol function. The cost estimate from the manufacturer has increased approximately 40 per cent due to the current Canadian dollar value. Most likely we will not be able to equip the number of officers that we would like, and may only be able to purchase three instead of the four we require. We will need to budget and purchase early in 2017 to ensure our officers are equipped properly.”
“Camera in cell block needed replacement. We only had $1,000 budgeted and the camera replacement was $1,400.”
Personnel: “We are working hard to replace the vacancy left from Cst. Shallo. We have a plan in place to deal with the budget implications we face this year, and do not expect this will affect our complement strength. Working with our policing partners, we have been able to secure polygraph and psychological testing for our applicants and anticipate an announcement soon to fill one position. We anticipate it will take a month or two more to fill the vacant inspector rank, and we plan to do that with a constable. The duties of the inspector will be absorbed, at this time, within the organization as senior officers will take on some of those roles and duties. I have met with our senior officers and association and we are strategizing solutions. A demographic analysis of our agency indicates that we have a planned retirement in the near future, which will allow us to revisit our organizational structure.”
Operational: “We have had a busy month in February working through a series of break and enter complaints and dealing with a drug investigation where we alleged cocaine was being brought into the community from Calgary. We have laid charges in both cases.”
“The investigational technique known as ‘street check’ is coming under review, and guidelines are being put in place by the Solicitor General regarding their use by police. The main concerns are how police are obtaining personal information, the retention of those records, and the supervision of the police on the street. The draft guidelines appear to be onerous on the police. The police officer’s hunch is being regulated to the tenth degree, to the point where mandatory training on the issue is slated to be required every five years. I completely understand the privacy concerns and that officers should not interfere with the fundamental rights of Canadian citizens. I can tell you that I have no concerns with regards to our officers and their actions. It appears special interest groups are putting pressure on politicians, who appear to be painting all law enforcement with the same brush. I have Sgt. Meggison speaking on behalf of the TPS at a meeting in March where the guidelines will be reviewed by stakeholders.”
The following statistical information represents total year-to-figures in each category for 2016.
Traffic: Impaired driving (6), traffic collisions (17), provincial traffic offences (274). Liquor Act: 10. Other Criminal Code: 27, offensive weapons (1), corruption/public mischief (3). Drug Enforcement: Trafficking (2), possession (3). Crimes Against a Person: Sexual offences (4), robbery/extortion/harassment/threats (7), assaults (13). Crimes Against Property: Theft under $5,000 (12), theft over $5,000 (9), possession of stolen goods (1), fraud (1), break and enter (3), mischief (15). Bylaw: Traffic (6), non-traffic calls (33).
“From a crime trend perspective, we had an increase in break and enters in January and February of this year. We know that seven have been successfully investigated and charges laid. The same businesses were broken into over and over and these were targeted crimes.”
“We have had two separate incidents of people who identified themselves as someone, whom later we found out were someone else. This results in charges being laid for public mischief and, as a result, we see an increase in that crime category.”
Complaints Against Police 2016
1) Incident: Citizen Contact. Allegation: Discredit the reputation of the service. Finding: Resolved.