Clearwater RCMP detachment’s General Duty side is now at full strength with one sergeant and four constables, Sgt. Kevin Podbisky reported to District of Clearwater council last Tuesday. Podbisky said he would like to see another General Duty constable in Clearwater and will submit a business case through Southeast District to support the request.
The Traffic Services unit is down by one person with position of corporal vacant. The position has been posted and he hopes to have it filled by summer.
Priorities for the detachment continue much as before, he said.
First priority is combating organized crime. During the second half of 2011 police took down two indoor marijuana grow operations. They charged three people and seized a number of plants and marijuana bud. Police also made 30 drug seizures during traffic stops during the six-month period.
The second priority for both General Duty and Traffic Service members has been reducing the carnage on the highways by targeting aggressive and impaired driving. Podbisky was happy to report there were no fatal accidents during the second half of the year. There were, however, 13 injury crashes and 43 property damage crashes. Police laid three impaired driving charges and gave out eight 24-hour suspensions during the period. The sergeant noted there were 404 officer-violator contacts as of the end of January.
Number three priority has been increased patrols to the Blue River area. The members are aware of this initiative and do the patrols when they can, said Podbisky. However, these patrols are not as frequent during the winter, due to inclement weather.
During the last six months of 2011 the members of the detachment, both General Duty and Traffic Services, responded to 679 complaints, the sergeant reported.
Podbisky said he would be seeking input from the mayor and council on his upcoming 2012/13 annual performance plan. He also would be asking for input from the community through a media release as well as through members of the detachment.
Clearwater Detachment has been contributing to community policing through various activities in the schools. Recently members participated in bullying and Internet safety talks at Clearwater Secondary School. One constable will take DARE (drug awareness resistance education) training and put on a DARE program in the elementary schools. During their off hours, members of the detachment coach hockey and run a floor hockey program at CSS.