BOYLE – Vandalism and traffic safety are two concerns highlighted by Village of Boyle councillors during a recent face-to-face with Boyle RCMP Detachment commander Sgt. Dennis Properzi.
At the March 1 village council, Properzi, who took over the position Dec. 12, 2022, had a few ideas, but wanted to hear councillors’ thought on the most-pressing issues.
Mayor Colin Derko highlighted “vandalism and (traffic) safety” as his two main concerns, with prevention being the goal.
“Tickets are one thing, but you would much rather have prevented it in the first place. Who wants to get stuck with the paperwork?” said Derko, adding later in the meeting he thought Properzi “had a good handle on what was going on.”
While the Alberta RCMP commanding officer deputy commissioner Curtis Zablocki sets the overall goals, there is a bit of room for the local leaders to provide feedback on the issues that people bring to their attention. Last year, the highlighted priorities were an increase in Joint Force Operations (JFO), which are conducted with assets from the RCMP as well as other law enforcement groups, traffic offences, and boat patrols.
While the boat patrols might not be in the cards for the coming year as Properzi wryly noted that they currently have neither a boat nor the training to operate one, community engagement will be. While the focus in the prior year had been placed on school visits, Properzi wants to restart in-person town halls and likes the idea of a rural crime watch, something he said a few citizens are passionate about.
Councillors seemed largely on board with the ideas, with Coun. Shelby Kiteley noticing “that when little things pop up, they are on it.”
“When we had that problem with the transients, and the public intoxication, the week after we told them it was gone,” said Kiteley, while Coun. Barbara Smith added she “liked the presence” they have in the community.
Prior to his recent promotion, Properzi had worked on the traffic unit in Spruce Grove and Westlock before transferring to Athabasca’s traffic unit in September 2021. He credits this time as a “blessing” and he now plans on integrating the Boyle traffic unit into the town halls and school visits as he wants to increase the collaboration and cooperation between the various units, including highway patrol, and the sheriffs, for a more efficient system.