© Geraldine Brophy
The issue of community policing came up during the Great Humber Joint Council meeting on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. Some municipalities are considering community policing to report things like vandalism and speeding to the RCMP, and help enforce bylaws in towns such as Massey Drive.
MASSEY DRIVE — They may not be able to afford to hire one dedicated only to their own towns, but some smaller municipalities are looking at how they can jointly hire a municipal police officer to help enforce the laws of the land.
The issue of community policing came up during the Great Humber Joint Council’s first meeting since the recent general elections in September.
At the meeting, held in Jackson’s Arm this past Saturday, town Coun. Penney Piercey of Massey Drive suggested that maybe smaller town like hers could pool their resources and collectively hire someone to provide community policing services.
“It just makes more sense for some communities that are close together to share the costs of this,” said Piercey.
In the case of Massey Drive, for instance, Piercey said the town could team up with neighbouring municipalities such as Pasadena and those in the Bay of Islands which do not have their own municipal police officer.
“They wouldn’t replace the RCMP, obviously, but they could report things like speeding or vandalism to the RCMP,” said Piercey. “They could also help enforce some of our bylaws.”
She said speeding, vandalism and illegal parking are among the offences her town would like to see authorities bring attention to more often.
The idea of sharing such a service on a regional basis was warmly welcomed by the other members of the Great Humber Joint Council, which is made up of municipal councils from the Corner Brook, Bay of Islands, Humber Valley, Bonne Bay South and White Bay South areas.
“I think it’s a wonderful, fantastic idea,” said Coun. Terry House of Jackson’s Arm, who said such an approach might work for his town if they joined resources with neighbours Sop’s Arm, Pollard’s Point and Hampden.
“For a lot of these small towns, the economics of it all makes sense for us to come together,”
Piercey said any fines collected could help offset the cost of the service if it is pursued.
She noted there is a person who has offered to put together a proposal to offer the community policing service. Piercey hopes that person will be able to do a presentation to the Great Humber Joint Council at one of its upcoming meetings.