Mayor expresses interest in establishing a Police Commission for Morinville

by Colin Smith

Should Morinville have a police commission to enhance its relationship with law enforcement authorities?

Mayor Simon Boersma thinks that’s worth looking into.

At town council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 22, the mayor put forward the following motion:

“I move that the administration conduct a thorough study focusing on the political intricacies and financial implications that arise from the creation of a police commission within the town of Morinville.

“This study will enable us to gain a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted political dynamics and financial considerations associated with the establishment of such a commission.”

Concerning his motion, Boersma stated that a police commission complements law enforcement and could provide oversight and transparency, along with enabling long-term planning.

“I think it’s important that we as a community are involved, and residents are involved,” he said. “We work together with the police organization to be able to create a safer community.

“Our residents have needs and I want to ensure those needs are met within our community.”

Earlier in the meeting, Boersma asked Staff Sergeant Chris Palfey of the RCMP Morinville Detachment whether increased public involvement through a mechanism such as a police commission would enhance policing.

Palfey, who was at the meeting to deliver the detachment’s quarterly report, said public involvement is always a good thing and that he had no issue with working with such a body.

“I think it would be beneficial depending on how it’s deployed,” he said. “If that ‘s something the town wanted, it’s something we could use to enhance proactive policing.”

The motion passed in a 4-1 vote. Along with Boersma, Councillors ay Ray White, Stephen Dafoe and Maurice St. Denis were in favour. Councillor Jen Anheliger was opposed.

Councillor Rebecca Balanko was absent due to family circumstances, and Councillor Scott Richardson had left the meeting before the vote.

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