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Councillor wants more foot patrols

Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Apr 26/02) - Dave Ramsay says it would help raise municipal enforcement's image if its officers spent more time out on the street.

"I don't think we do enough of that type of community relations type of thing," said Coun. Dave Ramsay. "Especially during the summer, when they don't have the school zones to police."

Ramsay plans to raise his idea at the priorities, policies and budget committee this Monday.

Municipal enforcement manager Doug Gillard said he has already looked at getting more officers on bike patrols this summer. But with a force of only six officers -- three on duty at a time -- and a spate of summer vacations, allocating personnel for foot or bike patrols can be difficult, he said.

"We did more way in the past and it's something that we haven't done enough of," he said. But, he added, "the bike is the first thing that goes when things get busy."

Coun. Robert Hawkins said getting officers out of their cars might help to lift "a negative perception that they're on their way to Tim Horton's to get a coffee, or on their way to washing their cars."

Coun. Kevin O'Reilly said he is waiting to see which priorities would need to be shifted to allow for more foot patrols.

"I want to know how that will affect the staffing and time and so on that our current staff spend," he said. "There's a fixed pot of money and people there, and if they do more of one thing it means something else has to give."