Yorkton Council filled two positions focused on community safety at its regular meeting Tuesday.
The first appointment saw Kevin Galbraith installed as Special Constable – Community Safety Officer (CSO).
The CSO program was approved by Council for development at the Aug. 8, 2017 regular meeting. Administration has been steadily planning for implementation since then.
In June, “Administration advised Council that it intended to commence the Community Safety Officer program during the summer of 2018. A public communication plan was developed to advise the public that Community Safety Officers would be on patrol soon,” said Terrence Schneider, Bylaw and Safety Supervisor with the City.
“By implementing a Community Safety Officer program, the City of Yorkton will have the ability to enforce the Traffic Safety Act, All Terrain Vehicle Act, Snowmobile Act, and other pertinent acts along with City of Yorkton bylaws,” said Schneider.
Galbraith said he has been preparing for his new role, building on his experience in bylaw enforcement in the city for the past 16 years. He spent six weeks in Prince Albert training for the new position.
“It was everything from charter rights to handcuffing people,” he said, adding it was learning what specifically he is responsible for, and how to go about those responsibilities correctly. “It was what I can and can’t do.”
As this program is in its infancy, the CSO will be easing the community into this new realm with the use of warnings and education, he added.
Initial focus will be on reducing speeding in school zones, making sure heavy trucks use designated routes, and stopping the use of engine retarder brakes in city limits.
“The goal is for the CSO to be a positive presence within the City of Yorkton, reassuring the electorate that the safety of our citizens and protection of our infrastructure is taken very seriously,” noted the report.
Galbraith said he knows his key focus, at least initially, will be traffic concerns including heavy trucks on Broadway Street. He uses a truck with a portable weigh scale. He’ll also monitor traffic speed in school zones.
“School zones will be a main focus,” he said.
Following a period of warnings and education, ticketing for offences will begin.
Revenue from tickets written for violating Provincial Acts will be split between the province and the municipality, 25 per cent and 75 per cent respectively.
The CSO will monitor the community for bylaw offences, and with an additional Bylaw Enforcement Officer, the objective is to develop a strong program that supports the safety and welfare of people and property.
Implementation of this program was approved through the 2018 Budget.
Galbraith served as a Bylaw Enforcement officer with the City of Yorkton for several years prior to receiving credentials to serve as a Special Constable.
Council also appointed Jaime Campbell as Bylaw Enforcement Officer.
“It was discovered through advertisement for a second CSO position that the pool of trained individuals is sparse,” said Schneider.
“Administration opted to hire an individual experienced in similar disciplines for a Bylaw Enforcement Officer. The objective is to have this individual obtain CSO status in the future.”