By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
RCMP officials from “K” Division paid a visit to the Town of Coaldale last week to discuss the town’s transition from Lethbridge Regional Police Service (LRPS) to RCMP, as of Jan. 1, 2016.
It has been reported the RCMP will work out of a storefront in Coaldale at that time until a new regional detachment is built in Coaldale with an estimated opening of 2018.
During a regular council meeting held Feb. 9, one of the RCMP delegates provided the town with an update on the transition process, which includes hiring a detachment commander.
“We believe we are going to see some good interest in this position and then that will lead to a list of what we call ‘qualified candidates’ or our short-list,” said Inspector Glenn de Goeij, acting officer in charge of corporate and client services branch, adding the position is about to be announced internally. Once candidates are selected the Town of Coaldale will set a date to establish a community interview board.
“Under that particular system, there’s one member of the community that can be selected by the council to sit on that particular three-person panel. In some instances there’s the ability to have others there as observers of the process,” he explained, adding it is hoped the interview stage process will be completed by the end of March or early April.
Also, de Goeij pointed out, the RCMP is in the final stages of acquiring suitable land in the Coaldale area for the construction of a new detachment facility, which is hoped to be finalized by the end of March of this fiscal year. Followed by the planning and design stage, which will happen next in the next fiscal year. The community will be involved in the process.
“Hopefully, still shooting for an opening target of early 2018 or late 2017,” added de Goeij.
In the meantime, de Goeij said, the RCMP will continue to work with town administration on suitable temporary office space for a service delivery model available in Coaldale, as of Jan. 1, 2016.
“We’re looking to do this as cost-effectively as possible in the community because it can get very expensive.”
All-in-all, de Goeij noted, things are on track, on target and on budget.
After his report de Goeij asked if there were any questions from council.
“So, the interview panel, you’re saying is a three-member panel? Who are the members?” asked Mayor Kim Craig.
According to de Goeij, the interview panel consists of two members of the RCMP.
“Usually, there’s someone involved from the district or a district officer or a delegate. Another person of an equal or higher rank and one member of the community.”
On the day after the interviews are complete, de Goeij added, usually the panel deliberates and makes a recommendation to the human resources officer and the commanding officer of the recommended candidate.
Council will choose a community member to sit on the interview panel, which could include a council member or town staff.