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Yorkton community safety officers to enforce traffic violations
Published Tuesday, January 8, 2019 4:25PM CST
Last fall, the City of Yorkton empowered its community safety officers to enforce traffic violations, which includes speeding.
Yorkton Mayor Bob Maloney said these officers are to be treated just like any other officer of the law.
“You do have to stop for these officers,” Maloney said. “Basically, the same rules would be in place as are for the RCMP. When you see the light you best pull over.”
Maloney has received numerous calls about speeding or texting while driving.
“Enforcement of city bylaws is probably going to be the biggest part of this,” he said. “Traffic enforcement is the other big picture as far as council is concerned. We want to concentrate on school zones and areas where we know there are issues.”
Though the officers have been able to pull people over since the fall, many in Yorkton still aren’t aware.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff Simpson says a traffic stop can be completely random.
“It could be anyting from just a regular traffic infraction to a suspect that’s just committed a firearm, may have drugs or narcotics or all the way to the worse scenario, may just committed a homicide,” Simpson said.
Safety officers will wear bulletproof vests, but not firearms, but will not pursue anyone who flees the scene. They will, however, have cameras onboard to record license plate numbers.
Simpson says RCMP officers carry other tools such as firearms, batons and tasers for a good reason.
“A traffic stop is potentially one of the most dangerous aspects that a police officer could deal with on a daily basis,” he said.
Currently, Yorkton has only one community safety officer with a second awaiting official accreditation to issue traffic tickets. Officers are focusing on traffic violations for the next three months.