The Fort Saskatchewan RCMP has made some slight adjustments to their policing priorities this year.
At the end of every fiscal year, the RCMP presents city council with an overview of the last year as well as their plan going forward. This includes the five main policing priorities they will be focusing on.
Last year's priorities were:
1. Crime prevention and reduction
2. Traffic safety
3. Reduction of substance abuse
4. Community and youth engagement
5. Enhancing public confidence and engagement
For the upcoming year, some minor changes have been made to the focus points for the RCMP. However, Inspector Mike McCauley, the officer in charge of the detachment, stressed they still do put a lot of work into other areas of policing, even if they aren't one of the listed priorities.
"For example, we are still going to continue our fight against drug use and illicit drug sales in the community," he said. "Just because it's not one of our top five priorities, doesn't mean the work stops."
The new priorities for the Fort Saskatchewan RCMP are:
1. Traffic safety
2. Crime prevention and reduction – person's crime
3. Crime prevention and reduction – property crime
4. Youth and community engagement
5. Employee wellness
Domestic violence falls under crime prevention for person's crimes, which is one of their bigger concerns after seeing an increase in assaults over the last year. It also aligns with the new domestic violence unit introduced to the city earlier this year.
Employee wellness is another new addition. McCauley felt it was important now more than ever, with many people's mental health suffering during the pandemic.
"There have been, tragically, suicides by police officers across the country in various places. I think it's so critical to have our employees taken care of and give them the safest space possible. That translates to [making] them better police officers and better for the community anyway, so it gives a double win that way."
City council approved the new priorities during their meeting on May 25.