By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
Some unknown culprits have made off with a Village of Halkirk stop sign, council heard during its last meeting.
A stop sign located at the corner of Alberta and Mercer Avenues in Halkirk has been found missing in recent days, along with the accompanying street signs which marked the block.
The matter was previously reported to the Coronation Detachment of the RCMP; however, RCMP Commanding Officer Sergeant John Pike attended a portion of the council meeting, and the matter was addressed again directly with him, though he was not optimistic about the chances of recovery.
“It’s probably in someone’s garage somewhere,” said Pike, addressing that property crime is one of the biggest issues his detachment faces.
The meeting marked Pike’s first attendance at a Village of Halkirk meeting since becoming the commanding officer of the Coronation RCMP Detachment in December of 2020.
His previous experience within the RCMP includes working as a general duty constable and a member of the gang-unit in Maskwacis and as a member of the Federal Serious Organized Crime task force based in Edmonton, which mainly focused on financial crime.
Missing frontline policing, Pike requested a transfer back to frontline duty, where he served in the Parkland area west of Edmonton earning his corporal stripes before taking the position in Coronation and becoming Sergeant.
Since his arrival in Coronation, Pike has been attempting to make some changes.
He’s having his members “fly the flag” and be more visible in the various communities covered by the detachment.
“My goal is to try and make things better for everyone,” said Pike to council.
One of the things being made better is movement on the oft-spoken about plans for a new RCMP facility.
The facility is finally moving forward, with Pike confirming that the land for the detachment building was recently purchased and he has begun sitting in on planning meetings to ensure that the new building will meet the needs of future members.
“We’re trying to make sure we build for what we need,” said Pike.
Another change Pike is working on in the Coronation Detachment area is the purchase of two to three more residences to serve as force housing, which would include members drawn to the area. Currently the detachment has two houses used for RCMP members, with the other members forced to purchase or rent their own homes in the area. With Coronation listed as a limited duration post, the average constable only works in the region for four years before rotating out, leaving them trying to sell their home afterward.
Coronation is a five-member detachment, with four constables working under the sergeant, and it covers the area from just west of Halkirk to an area east of Coronation around Veteran along Hwy. 12.
Meanwhile, due to the unlikelihood of recovery, council motioned to purchase replacement signs as the Village had none in inventory.