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RCMP detachments start to reopen

Athabasca and Boyle resume in-person services, while Barrhead and Westlock still not open
ATH RCMP detachment
The Athabasca RCMP Detachment opened its doors for in-person criminal record checks, fingerprinting and complaints July 13, while Westlock and Barrhead detachments aren’t quite ready for that just yet. 

ATHABASCA - RCMP detachments across the Town and Country region are re-opening their doors to the public after several months of limiting services in order to follow COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols. 

 While the Boyle detachment has already opened its doors, the Athabasca detachment resumed in-person services July 13, which include criminal record checks, fingerprinting and filing complaints.  

 "It will be nice to finally have some semblance of normalcy. We ask for everyone's patience and indulgence in moving forward to ensure that everyone remains healthy,” said Athabasca RCMP Cpl. Dan Fenton. 

 While the detachment is open, residents are still advised to call ahead (780-675-5122) to see if their matter can be dealt with remotely. Fingerprinting will also require a prior appointment, which will fall on Wednesdays only, for the time being. Residents may also call the detachment prior to attending in person if they have concerns. 

Fenton also advised members of the public to bring a face covering if face-to-face contact with a member is required, adding that additional protocols to allow for social distancing have been implemented within the facility to protect the public and employees. 

 At the Barrhead RCMP Detachment, Sgt. Bob Dodds says they’re not quite ready for the transition back to opening the doors to the public. The lobby of the facility is quite small and proper social distancing could be an issue, and staff would constantly be locking and unlocking the door depending on how busy it is. 

“So, for now, it’s business as usual,” said Dodds, adding criminal record checks and filing complaints can still be done by phoning the detachment at 780-674-4848. 

He also said the detachment is considering more police information checks as more volunteer organizations in the community are up and running, but there are no definitive plans as of yet. 

There is also a phone at the front entrance of the building to communicate with those inside. 

In Westlock, members and staff the RCMP detachment took part in a July 13 meeting to discuss protocols for a safe re-opening, and were aiming to re-open their doors the following day, though that goal was tentative, and results of the meeting were not available before press time.