June 18, 2024

Superintendent Mark Hancock says native police can have extra assets in 2024 in comparison with his arrival in 2015.

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The final 12 months has been busy for Wooden Buffalo RCMP, though most crime charges and requires service have remained in keeping with earlier years.

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Superintendent Mark Hancock says police in Fort McMurray will enter 2024 with extra assets in comparison with earlier years. Constructing nearer relationships with neighborhood teams in 2024 shall be important in preventing crime and bettering security, he stated.

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“The previous 12 months was a implausible 12 months, with a number of challenges however a number of alternatives as effectively,” stated Hancock in a year-end interview. “The native detachment proper now might be higher resourced than it has been since I first got here right here in 2015. We’re very fortunate.”

The variety of folks calling for police has been constant over the past three years, with greater than 27,100 calls as of early December.

Charges have held regular for assaults, break and enters, crimes towards folks, property crimes, robberies, and car thefts. Sexual crimes are rising, as are calls involving psychological well being. There have been 4 murders throughout the area, versus one homicide regionally in 2022.

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Preventing property crime, drug trafficking and visitors points had been prime priorities in 2023. Hancock says it will doubtless stay the case in 2024.

Tackling these points will contain working with neighborhood teams and leaders. Hancock says Wooden Buffalo RCMP have optimistic relationships with First Nation and Métis leaders within the area. An RCMP neighborhood officer has been stationed to Fort McKay. Relationships between the RCMP and the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce, spiritual teams and multicultural associations additionally deepened this 12 months.

“There’s nonetheless plenty of good policing that may be completed to maintain the residents protected,” he stated.

Officers with Wooden Buffalo RCMP on Tundra Drive on September 24, 2023. Police responded to the murder of a person on Tundra Drive shortly after 12:40 a.m. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray In the present day/Postmedia Community

Wooden Buffalo RCMP has seen successes in 2023. Hancock praised the police response to the evacuation of Fort Chipewyan throughout final summer time’s wildfire season. He’s additionally pleased with how police helped social teams and the municipality clear encampments. The residents had been moved into supportive housing.

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Hancock says the Police and Disaster Crew (PACT), which pairs cops with nurses, has responded to a whole bunch of calls involving psychological well being points. None of their responses have concerned critical use of power. The restorative justice program, a voluntary program prioritizing forgiveness and understanding between victims and perpetrators, has handled 37 adults and 18 youths within the area.

Hancock hopes to get a drone for the detachment in 2024. He’s additionally talking with the RMWB about having a police outpost primarily based out of Janvier’s hearth station.

The native detachment is beginning to see extra officers eager to switch to Wooden Buffalo RCMP. Hancock says this has not been the case traditionally. A recruiting disaster that the RCMP confronted lately is beginning to enhance, he added.

“We’re getting a bit extra skilled right here proper now. Morale is sweet on this detachment. We’re concerned in a number of stuff locally,” he stated. “It’s an thrilling time to be right here. It’s an excellent time to be a police officer in Fort McMurray proper now.”

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