I was very pleased that the young fellow who lives down in the Okotoks area was cleared of all charges related to a shooting at his rural home. The young man found some folks trespassing on his property and allegedly trying to steal some of his belongings! A shot was fired and the trespassers left. They have since been arrested and face numerous charges. The property owner was also charged for discharging his gun and other things. I understand all those charges have now been dropped. The charges against the trespassers and possible thieves remain!
The above mentioned story reminds us that rural policing in Alberta has its challenges. We've all heard stories of folks having to wait more than half an hour for the police to arrive at the scene of an incident. There are solutions;
- Increase the number of personnel at every detachment in rural Alberta. This would be expensive but well worth it!
- Remove the RCMP from highway traffic duty. This would free up officers to do other duties. Re-create the Alberta Provincial Police to do highway traffic duties.
- Have the provincial government strongly support local crime watch groups.