Public visibility, interaction a focus for M.L. bylaw department

By Kathy Gallant
February 14, 2018 - 4:49pm Updated: February 14, 2018 - 5:52pm

Last year the City of Meadow Lake bylaw department expanded, and for 2018, its employees hope to increase their presence within the community, and positively educate the public to comply with local bylaws.

In his annual departmental report to council, Community Safety Officer (CSO) Joe Hallahan outlined the last year of bylaw numbers, as well as some goals for the upcoming year. The biggest areas of enforcement within the city in 2017 were nuisance abatement, waste collection, traffic, and dogs running at large.

Last year, the department expanded by hiring Tracy Chuckrey as a second bylaw officer in August. Hallahan completed training in 2016 to become a Special Constable under The Police Act in January 2017. By having an additional officer, Hallahan has been able to provide more coverage for provincial statutes, such as The Traffic Safety Act. In total in 2017 Hallahan and Chuckrey worked on 495 cases.

“The bylaw department has taken a varied approach to bylaw enforcement,” Hallahan said in his report. “We [aren’t] focusing on any one particular bylaw at a time but covering the city in a systematic fashion and stopping and speaking to people that are in contravention of bylaws.”

Tickets by the numbers

In many cases, Hallahan said the department attempts to give warnings, especially for non-parking related offences. However, nearly 100 tickets were given out for residents leaving their waste containers out on the streets for longer than 24 hours after pick up times.

“This is an ongoing issue,” he said. “The bylaw department will strive to continue to educate people about the waste collection bylaw.”

For parking, nearly 60 tickets were given out for vehicles parked in a handicap stall, and almost 40 for vehicles parked over 24 hours.

Looking forward to 2018

Hallahan said as per council’s direction, the bylaw department will continue working with the RCMP and other community groups to look for strategies to reduce crime within the city.

“Late in the year we extended the hours of operation and this will continue in 2018,” he said. “A big part of crime reduction still is up to each and every one of us to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime. Simple things like removing valuables from our vehicles and locking vehicles will be a good first step that we can all do to help reduce the likelihood that our vehicles will be targeted.”

 

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