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County asking for Peace Officer authority on more highways

The County of Grande Prairie is looking to the province to give its Peace Officers jurisdiction on single and double-digit numbered highways. Members of council directed administration to send an application to the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General asking for the extension at their meeting on Monday.

Reeve Leanne Beaupre says expanding the authority of the officers will support community safety and security, as well as boost the effectiveness of the regional transportation network.

“It’s something many municipal governments have been lobbying the province and Solicitor General’s office for quite a long time because, of course, offenders don’t necessarily just stay to the numbered highways,” she says.

Beaupre adds those patrolling the area will not be taken away from their normal duties and believes it will greatly help coverage in the region.

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“Mandate of the Peace Officer is for the municipality they’re assigned to and that would still be their priority; this just gives them the flexibility if they happen to be trying to pull someone over if they go onto a numbered highway they have the authority to do so.”

Currently, the County’s Enforcement Services consists of a Patrol Unit, Bylaw Unit, and an RCMP Enhanced Policing Unit. Beaupre adds, if approved, the changes will simply give Enforcement Services officers the freedom to continue in their duties, rather than wait for higher levels of law enforcement to arrive.

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