CARSTAIRS - Council has approved a new policy setting out guidelines for emergency response to certain service calls by authorized peace officers.
The approval came by way of motion at the recent council meeting. The policy is the result of a recent external audit of town policies and brings the municipality up-to-date with current legislation, says chief administrative officer Rick Blair.
The policy’s authorization section reads: “The Town of Carstairs as an authorized employer of peace officers shall have the authority for emergency response added to their employee appointment before any specific officer apply for this authorization. Individual peace officers will ensure all requirements have been met and authorization has been added to their peace officer appointment before they respond to any calls for service in emergency response capacity.”
Under the policy, peace officers must complete a 40 hour emergency vehicle operations course that is based on the Public Security Officer Program approved curriculum, and the officer must undergo re-certification in the training course every five years.
Officers may respond to calls for service utilizing emergency equipment under a number of circumstances, including “providing backup to police or peace officers where there is a reasonable belief that the officer is in serious danger and the peace officer is or may be the closest assistance available.
“Attending a fire or medical emergency at the specific request of the fire or EMS department. It will not be standard practice to provide co-response to all fire or medical situations.
“Any emergency situation, if requested by the police service in an emergency response capacity” and “any emergency response reasonably justified by the peace officer provide public safety is not jeopardized.”
The pursuit section of the policy states that, “Upon encountering an individual who has chosen not to stop their vehicle when directed to do so, a peace officer will immediately cease all efforts to stop the vehicle. Contact, on an urgent bases, should be made with the police service of jurisdiction to advise them of the circumstances, providing a description of the vehicle and direction of travel.
“The following procedure will be undertaken to disengage: pull over to the side of the road and place vehicle in park; disengage siren and lights; contact dispatch or police service of jurisdiction to confirm disengagement and provide details (of the vehicle); and document incident in notebook.”
Under the policy, peace officers are not permitted to participate or assist in the deployment of a spike belt or other similar device.
New gift and awards policy approved
Meanwhile, council also approved a new employee recognition gift and awards policy, setting out approved maximum gift and award values.
Under the policy, an employee may receive a gift under the following circumstances: retirement gifts, service awards and sympathy gifts.
“Gifts are not included in the above circumstances must be approved by the chief administrative officer or director of corporate and legislative services, and if a significant value is requested, the mayor’s approval may be needed. Unless funds are collected from fellow employee’s personal funds, in which case this policy need not apply,” the policy states.
Specifically regarding gifts amounting to greater than $500, the policy states, in part, “If an employee, retiring or otherwise is given a gift, and they have been given a long-service award in the preceding five years, the entire amount of the retirement gift will be a taxable benefit, regardless of the total value of the retirement gift.”
Regarding retirement gifts, the policy states, in part, “Retirement gifts will not be presented to employees that leave employment through resignation or termination. Retirement fits will only be presented to employees with a minimum of five years of service.”
Retiring employees will be presented with a retirement gift using the following calculation: “Year of service multiple by $75. Maximum value received by any employee regardless of years of service will be $2,000.”
As far as service awards, the policy states, in part, that, “At the annual year end/Christmas party the Town of Carstairs will provide recognition for length of service in five year increments.” Service award values range from $100 for five years to $800 for 40 years.
Sympathy gift may be presented on the death of immediate family and get well soon gifts after a major illness or surgery. The chief administrative officer has the discretion to decide on the value of the sympathy gift.