The detachment commander for Blackfalds RCMP is retiring after a successful 33-year career.
S/Sgt. Ken Morrison, whose final day is Jan. 16, says the biggest thing accomplished in his 5+ years in Blackfalds is increased community engagement.
"I think it's the education component and working with our partners like the Red Deer Crime Prevention Centre and our rural crime watch organizations," he says. "We've really brought forward the message to all the communities in our area that the police can't do it on our own."
Morrison also calls the formation of the Priority Crimes Task Force with other local detachments an incredible accomplishment.
"He's very respected in the community and an excellent role model for sure. One of the things we really appreciated was his open communication," says Town of Blackfalds CAO Myron Thompson. "What I've noticed is the working relationship between RCMP and local peace officers was very seamless and you dont see that in a lot of communities."
The Detachment Commander, who began his career in 1985 in Carberry, Manitoba, also gave his final year-end report to Backfalds town council this week, sharing a mixed bag of crime stats.
Morrison says while total calls for crimes happening in the town of Blackfalds were down by about 100, there was an increase in calls on the rural side. He says persons crimes are status quo or down, while property crime continues to rise.
He also lauded the 'tremendous success' of the Kids and Cops program in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Morrison's departure happens to come at a time when the Town is restructuring its staff. A new position will create more efficiency in emergency and protective services.
Council agreed to move forward with the position at their meeting this week.
According to the Thompson, the role will oversee emergency and disaster services, the peace officer program, fire services, protective services, and will be a liaison to local RCMP. It will also provide assistance with OHS processes.
Until now, these services have been reporting back to the CAO.
"We thought this was a good interim measure to take the day to day management of these areas and put them with a manager where they belong," Thompson says. "This way, I can focus more on some of the major administrative functions that are coming down the pipe."
The position is expected to be filled sometime in February.
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