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Q & A with the CAO- CPO Roles and Responsibilities

Post Date:11/21/2018 10:23 AM

Q & A with the CAO
Community Peace Officers- Roles and Responsibilities

Law enforcement in Lethbridge County is assigned to several agencies, each with different roles and responsibilities. In 2013, the County began the Community Peace Officer (CPO) Program and currently employs two CPO’s. In the County’s Budget 2019 Survey comments section, there was some confusion and/or misinformation among respondents as to the roles of the Community Peace Officers. This Q & A document is intended to clarify those roles and responsibilities for citizens.

Q: Why did Lethbridge County decide to implement the Community Peace Officer Program?
The CPO Program was implemented to ensure the safety of our citizens and the protection of County infrastructure, and to provide additional support to the RCMP. Lethbridge County covers a large area, and RCMP services are shared with other municipalities.

Q: What do the CPO’s do?
Community Peace Officers are appointed by the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General’s Office. Their role is two-fold: education and enforcement. The Peace Officers raise public awareness on some of the rules and regulations that fall under provincial law and municipal bylaw.
The CPO’s are authorized to enforce all County Bylaws and a few Provincial Acts and Regulations including:
• Traffic Safety Act- speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign, distracted driving, and other moving/non-moving violations under the Act
• Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act- improper disposal or littering of waste on public or private lands and highways
• Animal Protection Act- responding to animals that are abandoned or in distress
• Highways Development and Protection Act

Protection of County infrastructure is a primary focus for our CPO’s. Overweight commercial vehicles traveling on County roads and over County bridges can cause severe and costly damage to those transportation routes. Our CPO’s travel with portable scales for on-the-spot verification of commercial vehicle weight checks. They will enforce all laws related to weights and measurements, load security, transportation of hazardous materials and commercial vehicle certification.

These officers work a variety of shift schedules and patrol all areas of Lethbridge County.

Q: Are the CPO’s the same as the RCMP?
No, they are not. While the CPO’s enforce some of the same Provincial Regulations as the RCMP (ie. Traffic Safety Act), they do not have the same roles and responsibilities. The Peace Officer position is not a 911 emergency response position and officers are not authorized to enforce the Criminal Code. The Criminal Code includes theft, breaking and entering, firearms offences, etc.

Q: What are the other law enforcement agencies that serve the area?
Other law enforcement agencies serving Lethbridge County include:
• The Alberta Sheriffs Department- court security, prisoner transportation and other protection services
• Transport Officers- assist with the enforcement of federal and provincial commercial
vehicle statutes
• Fish and Wildlife Officers- part of the provincial team for environmental protection and conservation

Q: How do I contact a CPO?
Call (403) 634-0755 to speak to an Officer.

Ann Mitchell
Chief Administrative Officer, Lethbridge County

PDF- Q & A with the CAO: CPO Roles and Responsibilities
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