The City of Cold Lake is taking a significant step toward community engagement in matters of policing and public safety. In response to legislative changes, City council is initiating the establishment of a Policing Committee, which will seek the involvement of residents in shaping the future of law enforcement within the community.  

Mayor Craig Copeland explains the importance of public representation within this committee, emphasizing the crucial role volunteers can play in influencing the dynamics of their community.  

“This is an opportunity to have members of the public,” Copeland stated. “Representation is an important factor for community policing, and this committee will provide a chance for volunteers to make an important difference in their community.” 

The committee will feature diverse representation, including a dedicated position for a youth who is between the ages of 16 and 18, along with multiple spots open for Cold Lake residents. Additionally, two positions are reserved for members of City council. Collaborating with these community representatives will be an RCMP Officer in Charge, serving as a non-voting, advisory member. 

The recent modifications to the Police Act in Alberta mandate the establishment of policing committees in municipalities with populations exceeding 15,000.  

The Cold Lake Policing Committee will hold certain responsibilities, such as crafting an annual plan outlining policing priorities and strategies specific to the municipality. Moreover, it will serve as a channel between the public and the Officer in Charge, addressing concerns and aiding in the resolution of complaints, according to the City of Cold Lake. 

“We can all agree that this is something really good to have, we are hoping having a youth perspective will help make the community more fun and safer,” said William Corse, a RCMP officer in Cold Lake. 

Mayor Copeland expressed gratitude for the tireless efforts of the Cold Lake RCMP detachment and highlighted the opportunity for both the detachment and committee members to gain insights from one another’s perspectives.  

“This is a chance not only for the detachment to hear from the public, but for the community members on the committee to hear about the challenges that police face, the reality of policing and the support that they can use,” said Copeland. 

As the doors open for applications, opportunities to join the committee will be publicly advertised. Individuals passionate about enhancing community safety and welfare are warmly invited to step forward and apply.  

For comprehensive details about this program and other significant boards and committees in Cold Lake, visit coldlake.com/boards. There is no set deadline for applications at this time, ensuring ample opportunity for individuals to participate. 

By Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Dec 07, 2023 at 11:29

This item reprinted with permission from   Lakeland This Week   Bonnyville, Alberta

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