By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
The town of Picture Butte will be setting up a new Police Advisory Committee.
During their regular Jan. 25 meeting, Picture Butte town council discussed a bylaw to form a Police Advisory Committee.
Bylaw 907-21, or the Police Advisory Committee Bylaw, would allow the town to create a new Police Advisory Committee (PAC).
At council’s October 2020 organizational meeting, council decided to create some new committees, such as an Economic Development Committee, Doctor Recruitment Committee and Police Advisory Committee.
A policy advisory committee bylaw was later presented during council’s Jan.18 Committee of the Whole, which included discussion on the membership of the proposed committee. The bylaw was drafted in consultation with the Alberta Association of Police Governance drafted bylaws, and the town received feedback from AAPC Chair Terry Coleman on the drafted bylaw and members of the committee.
In correspondence to council, he spoke on the responsibilities of such a committee, and recommended, due to the size of Picture Butte — one member serve on the committee. However, whether or not that councillor is a voting member or not, he said it was not prescribed, and he recommended the councillor does not vote in the committee, as council will be making the final decisions. He also stressed the committee should be community-driven.
No changes had been made yet to the drafted bylaw, as there was not yet a consensus on how it should have been changed.
During discussion over the bylaw, Coun. Joe Watson said he felt a council member should be on the committee. Coun. Teresa Feist said there shouldn’t be a lot of council members on it, so other members of the committee can feel free to speak more openly, adding she agreed with Coleman’s point, and voiced support for the mayor and a member of administration serving on the committee.
According to the bylaw, the committee would consist of seven voting members appointed by council who are residents of the town, with up to two being between the ages of 16-18 years old who attend school in town or as otherwise approved by council, and three non-voting members, who will consist of the mayor, a member of town administration and the RCMP Detachment commander. Council passed all three readings of the bylaw, as presented.