The Fort Saskatchewan RCMP now have a better understanding of what the community expects from them for the rest of the year. 

Inspector Barry LaRocque was with other members of the police to take part in a town hall with Fort Saskatchewan residents on Wednesday (Mar. 8) night. 

"The intent of [town hall] was to have a dialogue with the citizens of Fort Saskatchewan as to what they believe the priorities should be for the RCMP to work on in the next year," said LaRocque. 

"We had 44 people attend the session." 

The meeting started with a presentation educating residents on the detachment's organizational structure before then recapping some of the priorities that the RCMP has undertaken in previous years. 

"We went and talked about what our priorities were in 2021 and 2022," said LaRocque. "Those [priorities] were traffic safety, community relations and police visibility, property crime, domestic violence and member wellness." 

"We went through some of the initiatives that we had undertaken to work towards those priorities." 

The town hall then moved to its most important stage: hearing from the residents. 

"There was a fair bit of concentration on traffic safety," said LaRocque. "There were some very specific locations in the city that citizens were worried about with regards to people running red lights over crosswalks." 

"There was a concern about some of the noise emitting from vehicles and speeding on various roadways in the city." 

There are a few things that police plan on doing to address these concerns.

"We will be doing some more work on traffic enforcement and education," said LaRocque. "It's not just giving out traffic tickets, but it is that education and letting people know that the behaviours that they are exhibiting when they are driving maybe need to be modified." 

Another major issue that was brought up was police visibility, and residents wanted to be able to see local RCMP patrolling the areas. 

LaRocque explained that because lots of patrols happen in the evening, it might cause the appearance of fewer patrols happening than there really are.

"In today's world a lot of people go into their residences between 8 and 9 in the evening and a lot of our patrols are happening later than that," said LaRocque. 

"They might not be seeing the police out there, but I can assure them we are out there patrolling in addition to answering calls for service."

The plan now is for the RCMP to take the feedback they received and work on ways to improve how they serve the community. 

"We will, as the RCMP, go back and have some meetings with our people to look at what the community has given us," said LaRocque. "We'll look at some initiatives that we will then implement to work toward those priorities."