Peace Officer

Did You Know . . . A new law enforcement officer is now serving the community. Dan Visser officially assumed his new role as Community Peace Officer in June.


Peace Officer appointed in Athabasca

It is official: a new law enforcement officer is now serving in the Town of Athabasca. Actually, the officer is the same–it’s the title and depth of responsibility that are new.

Having completed the required training, Dan Visser, formerly the Bylaw Officer for Athabasca, officially assumed his new role as Community Peace Officer in June. Serving under the Alberta Peace Officer Act, Dan now has greater authority in a few specific areas.

“The biggest difference is traffic safety enforcement in town and also enforcement of the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Act,” says Dan. “A Bylaw Officer enforces only municipal bylaws. A Peace Officer can also enforce certain provincial statutes.”

Communities across the province are upgrading to Peace Officer enforcement, in some cases in response to population growth and related issues. The additional enforcement in Athabasca will be beneficial for area residents.

“Essentially, my role as a Peace Officer is to ensure the safety of the public, and with it getting busier, there is a need for that additional protection,” Dan explains.

Traffic safety enforcement will include the enforcement of speed regulations, especially in areas where traffic enters and exits the town; and all forms of moving traffic, including ATVs and snow machines.

Alberta Gaming and Liquor Act enforcement will include keeping a watch on popular social areas like the Athabasca riverfront.

Although a Peace Officer has an expanded range of authority, the role is not to be confused with that of a Police Officer who has a wider range of authority. With that understanding, Dan will cooperate with local RCMP to establish a working relationship.

At present, Dan’s traffic enforcement activities are limited as he is waiting on modifications to his truck.

“Once the truck is properly equipped with lights, sirens, etc., then I can do all of the moving traffic safety enforcement,” he says.

To contact Dan, or for more information about his new responsibilities as Community Peace Officer, phone 780-675-2063.

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