To serve and enforce
Doug Gillard takes over Municipal Enforcement Division

Dawn Ostrem
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Apr 07/00) - Ahh, the life of a municipal enforcement officer.

"I've had lots of interesting things happen," said Municipal Enforcement Division Manager Doug Gillard. After working seven-and-half years as an officer and part-time manager, he was officially promoted the post of manager on March 16.

Over the years, he has had several interesting encounters.

"A vehicle rear-ended me while I was at a red light in a marked car. He was intoxicated and caused about $3,000 in damages," he continued.

"Needless to say that one was never contested in court. That was one for the books."

The Yellowknife municipal enforcement division deals with bylaw infringements, the basic parking tickets, doggy doo-doo and noise complaints. But a big duty of the division is traffic enforcement and helping out the RCMP when needed.

"Our mandate is to enforce city bylaws, the Motor Vehicle Act and the ATV Act," he explained. "We don't deal with Criminal Code issues unless it's something that goes on right in front of us."

Originally from Edmonton where he worked for a private security firm, Gillard moved North when he began working for the City of Yellowknife. Now, as the department manager, he is no longer a prime target to be rear-ended by drunk drivers, but more of an administrator.

"I directly supervise six officers and three clerks and am a liaison between our department and the Department of Public Safety and Development," he said.

"Right now I'm still getting my feet wet and dealing with a lot of issues I've never had to deal with before."

Gillard said right now a real issue for his division is the amount of impaired drivers it deals with. He has seen more than 50, even though it is a Criminal Code, not a Motor Vehicle Act, offence.

"One in particular is exactly why we have laws," he said. While holding a hand-held radar at an intersection, a vehicle going about 30 kilometres per hour over the speed limit slid into a pole very close to Gillard after its driver hit the breaks.

"He had no seatbelt on and I basically saw him hit the windshield," he added. "I never saw anything like that before."

Now a true Northerner, he laughs when Edmontonians find the weather cold.

"I moved here from the big city but since I've been here I've gone 180 degrees," he said. "I don't ever want to live in a big city again."