BOWDEN — The commander of the Olds RCMP detachment says he’d like to see the Olds Policing Advisory Committee (OPAC) expanded to include representation from Bowden and Mountain View County.
Staff Sgt. Warren Wright made that statement during a crime town hall, held last month in the Bowden Friendship Centre.
“Although I appreciate the fact that Olds has taken an active, dominant role in sort of the creation of this police advisory committee, I would like to see representation from the town of Bowden as well as Mountain View County,” he said.
Wright said another goal is to obtain some youth representation on the committee.
“It’s impossible for me to know everything and this is an opportunity for me to have a committee that is able to have contact throughout the community and discuss policing issues and bring them to my attention,” he said.
“It allows the community to collaborate and brainstorm. We've got that huge demographic – different people – and everybody brings ideas; ideas I haven’t even thought of.”
It was said during the meeting that a committee with similar representation used to exist and met in the Olds Town council office but eventually was disbanded.
Wright described OPAC as a “kind of think tank.”
He predicted that the OPAC will indeed expand to include at least Bowden representatives soon.
“I can't speak on behalf of the Town, but I feel like it is going to eventually happen, whether it includes either elected officials or residents,” he said.
Wayne Milaney, one of three Bowden town councillors who attended the meeting, said he believes that will happen too.
"I do believe it’s a good highway of communication and it’s there, so we could use it,” Milaney said.
Wright said OPAC not only serves as a good way to learn about and discuss policing issues in the area but also as a way for community members and the residents at large to get to know him better.
“It’s all about me being available to people so that we have those conversations,” he said.
At the same time though, Wright indicated that those interactions have to be reasonable.
“I’m not saying you phone me up in the middle of the night and complain to me if your kid got a ticket; I’m not saying that,” he said.