|Since the mid-1980s, the Medicine Hat Police Service has employed community peace officers to enforce bylaws and assist with policing. As community needs have grown over time, the police service has responded with increased staff and added responsibilities. There are currently nine community peace officers in Medicine Hat. The Municipal Bylaw Enforcement and Community Peace Officer Program provides more effective and efficient policing and a more consistent policing model by embedding bylaw enforcement and community peace officers within the police service. In addition to enforcing municipal bylaws, community peace officers enforce the Traffic Safety Act, the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, a portion of the Gaming and Liquor Act, the Dangerous Dogs Act, the Tobacco Reduction Act, and the Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use Act. They also serve summons and subpoenas and fingerprint persons charged with criminal offences.
|The key objective of the Municipal Bylaw Enforcement and Community Peace Officer Program is to provide cost-effective and efficient policing to the community while providing a wide range of enforcement services under one umbrella.
|This initiative has been successful in coordinating improved enforcement of bylaws and reducing overall costs to the municipality. Financial savings are achieved through reduced administration costs, shared records management and shared support services. The program makes the Medicine Hat Police Service a one-stop enforcement agency that carries out all policing duties, including bylaw enforcement. This has proven to be a more efficient model for Medicine Hat. A community survey indicated that this initiative has also led to increased client satisfaction.
|The Medicine Hat Police Service funds the nine community peace officer positions. The total cost for the officers was $1.3 million in 2012. This initiative also required the reallocation of office space, vehicles and equipment from within the police service.
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