The following was posted has a comment on my recent post http://crowsnestpasshome.blogspot.ca/2012/05/tax-notices-are-in-25-fact-or-fiction.html
It originated on the Municipal Web site under minutes the commenter copied and pasted it to my blog.
I am reposting this to high light the issue. People need to read the minutes below and think about where we has a municipality are really going with this.
"The Protective & Community Services Summary Worksheet for Enforcement- Peace Officer was
• Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) was researched by Donna Tona, Interim Manager
of Protective Services. The Solicitor General requires a population of 5,000 to begin the
process of obtaining ATE. The Crowsnest Pass does require a policing agreement with
the RCMP as per the Crowsnest Pass Regulation.
• In order to provide proper chain of command within an enforcement unit, one of the
peace officers will be required to have a Sergeant’s Rank which will require a salary
• Peace Officers require updated training including a 40 hour Emergency Vehicle
Operations Course, Animal handling, and Use of Force.
• Formal documents are being prepared for the order of two Peace Officer units and their
equipment. Each vehicle will be equipped with Camera systems, radar, laser, onboard
computers, work consoles, prisoner transport system, rubber flooring system, OnStar,
lighting and siren system, vehicles are equipped for off road and factory tailored for
towing, and one unit will be equipped with a winch system, bumper guards with LED
lighting, shotgun system for wildlife only and a digital evidence work station. Cost of
each vehicle with the associated equipment is approximately $70,000.00."
First of all lets go back to what the municipality is trying to achieve here, I have heard lots of fanfare about cleaning up the community and straightening out the yahoo's driving up and down main street with loud mufflers disturbing the law abiding citizens.
There is no question that there are people around here that need to clean up their properties. With a crack down on the worst offenders and some hefty tickets the problems above will get resolved. So there will be justification for a bylaw/peace officer until those issues are resolved.
In the long term what are two Community Peace Officers going to do? they are going to become a cash cow. They are going to tap into the 12000 vehicles a day on highway 3 plus with the
Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) that will be set up in high volume areas they will attempt to bring in a lot of money.
A lot of money well think about it they will have to, we see above $140,000 just to set up the first two vehicle's let's give them a life of five years that's $30,000 a year for capital costs.
Now operational costs two community peace officers one of which we now find out will be a Sergeant your looking at 2080 hour a year each. One Officer in the range of $35 per hour and the other around $45 per hour that's $166,400 a year plus a 10% allowance for overtime and 25% for benefits. That number now becomes $228,800, then you are probably going to need another $40,000 a year to pay for all the other stuff required to operate this department (computers, cell phones, fuel, Insurance, uniforms, training, certifications, etc) .
Then it will only be a matter of time if you are writing a ton of tickets before you have to make the decision, do you want your officers sitting in the office doing paperwork or out on the road generating cash. So knowing the way government works after the first year they will be asking for "part time clerical support" which in year two will turn into the support staff is so over whelmed that we need to make this into a full time position. (Another $60,000 per year)
It wouldn't be long before between Capital costs, Officer costs, Clerical support, Other costs that this department will cost us the taxpayers a minimum of $360,000 per year. We have not even began to talk about court appearances, legal costs etc, because yes some people will fight these tickets.
At an average of $100 per ticket that is 3600 tickets a year divided by 200 days per year that means our officers will have to write 18 tickets per day.
Lots of questions with a program like this. Is that potential here for that volume of tickets? Is it sustainable in the long term? How long before it becomes common knowledge that the Crowsnest Pass is a speed trap? How long before all the locals figure out where the enforcement is? Not trying to justify breaking the law but how many tourists will say to hell with the Pass when they receive their photo and bill in the mail?
Mayor Decoux made a speech in council chambers last year about how famous the Crowsnest Pass has become thanks to Thunder in the Valley. Do we now wish it to become famous for being a speed trap?