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RCMP stepping up business, industry patrols

Tips offered for temporary closures
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RCMP officers in the district will be actively patrolling commercial business areas and industrial sites during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.

With many businesses temporarily closed, officers want to make sure that properties do not become the target of thieves, said Didsbury RCMP Staff Sgt. Chad Fournier.

“We’re already increased our patrols in business areas as well as at oilfield sites around the area,” said Fournier.

He is recommending that property owners also play a role in keeping properties safe.

“We highly recommend that business owners check on their properties periodically,” he said. “That should include all business owners, in the towns and rural areas.”

The detachment has not seen any spike in break-ins at this point, he said.

Anyone seeing any suspicious activities around area businesses or industrial sites should call police without delay, he said.

Olds RCMP Cpl. Courtney Harding says officers will be active in towns and rural areas across the Olds detachment area.

“You’re going to be see us out and about a whole bunch,” said Harding. “We are not anticipating any issues, but we are certainly going to be out there being proactive and very visible.”

“We are prepared to respond to any emergency or situation that might arise,” she added.

Anyone witnessing suspicious activities in the Olds area should call police without delay, she said, noting that officers have not seen a spike in break-ins in the Olds detachment area.

The RCMP has issued a number of tips for business owners who may be temporarily closing their shops, including ensuring security systems are operating, leaving some lights on, and making regular checks.

Meanwhile, local detachments remain open but anyone wanting to make a non-emergency complaint is being asked to call first.

“If it’s an emergency, always call 911,” said Fournier. “If it’s an administrative matter, call the administrative line (403-335-3382).”

All RCMP detachments in the province are now adhering to new COVID-19 modified service delivery rules.

Those measures include suspending all non-critical counter service, and fingerprinting for criminal record checks only in exceptional circumstances.

"For safety, you may be asked to wear a mask while in the detachment," Olds RCMP said. "If you need officer assitance and believe you may be ill, you asked to advise police when you make the call so officers can be prepared ahead of time. Police advise people to not be alarmed if you see employees wearing extra potection."

Dan Singleton

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