Members dissolve St. Paul & Area Safer Community Task Force
The St. Paul & Area Safer Community Task Force was dissolved at a May 22 meeting, held at the Town of St. Paul FCSS office. However, members indicated they would keep in touch through email and pass issues off to the St. Paul Interagency Group.
The meeting was attended by County of St. Paul Reeve Steve Upham, Town of St. Paul Mayor Glenn Anderson, St. Paul RCMP Staff Sgt. Wade Trottier and was chaired by Community Task Force member Judy Bogdan.
Town councillors Norm Noel and Pat Gratton, County councillor Maxine Fodness, Blue Quills instructor Sharon Steinhauer, Columbus House of Hope womenís shelter executive director Noreen Cotton, St. Paul & District Chamber of Commerce president Alice Herperger and Town of St. Paul FCSS outreach advocate, Dolu Ashani, were also present and voted to dissolve the task force.
The motion to dissolve was made by Upham, who also recommended that members stay informed and in touch through email and that any issues previously directed to the task force now be given to the interagency group. Cotton seconded the motion.
Interagency Group vice-chair, Debbie Tupechka, said the group is a chance for agencies and organizations to meet and share their activities and programs. Itís also a chance for people from the community to bring up concerns and issues, she said.
Prior to dissolving, the community task force group met last month where it discussed the benefits associated with having a task force present in the community. According to Coun. Gratton, the task force was created as part of a grant to support two enhanced RCMP officers working towards crime prevention.
The officers also dealt with graffiti in town, but after the program with the enhanced officers finished, interest in the task force dropped off. Anderson said the two officers were very valuable to the community.
Trottier said the St. Paul RCMP is very busy, as its eight officers have dealt with more than 200 complaints each since January, and having a community policing person would help.
However, he said he didnít know of any funding for a community policing person. Trottier mentioned that a new bylaw officer, to accompany the one already in place, will be hired soon.
One of the reasons for dissolving the task force, according to those present at the meeting, is because of a time issue. The various members sit on several other committees and have little time to commit to another.
Upham said the Town of Elk Point has an interagency committee that handles community issues. The former task force is now hoping the local interagency group does the same.
The next scheduled interagency meeting is not until September, but Tupechka said a meeting might be called before then to address the task forceís recent dissolution and becoming more active in dealing with community issues.
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