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Stettler County makes Protective Services policy changes

The County of Stettler council made some changes to its Protective Services policy during its June 14 meeting.
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The County of Stettler council made some changes to its Protective Services policy during its June 14 meeting.

Administration had identified two issues with the current policy; first, it was in conflict with the county’s own Human Resources Manual regarding minimum pay for callouts, and two, the policy doesn’t address the calls Stettler Protective Services officers will respond to outside of business hours.

In the matter of pay, the policy indicates that staff called out are to receive a minimum of three hours at their usual rate whereas the Human Resources Manual indicates the employee is to receive either pay for actual hours worked, or the minimum defined by the Employment Standards Code, whichever is higher.

“There’s quite a difference when you are working overtime rates,” said Andrew Brysiuk, the county director of Municipal Services.

Administration recommendation was to update the Protective Services Policy and remove the conflict.

The second matter addressed was defining complaints protective services would respond to.

“We need to decide the level of service being offered,” said Public Services manager Clinton Sime.

The recommendation to council was to approve a policy update that approved after-hours callouts only where the county’s own buildings or infrastructure were involved, or public safety was at risk.

Sime noted that the policy update did not include animals-at-large complaints; those calls are routed directly to a contracted animal control provider.

With how dry the region has been to date, Coun. Justin Stevens wondered whether fire complaints during a fire ban would rise to the level of a peace officer being called out after hours.

Sime confirmed that fire complaints during a fire ban would be investigated, even outside of hours, as they could be considered life safety threats.

Finally, council asked about the peace officers ability to assist with large animals.

Brysiuk noted that the peace officers can “try and herd them out of harm’s way” and make contact with the owners.

“If we can keep it local, we are doing the animal owners a favour,” added Sime.

The updates to the Protective Services policy were passed in a motion by Coun. Les Stulburg.

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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