‘Known risk’ list causes M.D. council some headaches

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

M.D. of Lesser Slave River council’s attempt to dig into a difficult and possibly controversial matter did not result in the anticipated motion.

In effect, the M.D. is being required (via directive from the province), to reduce risk to its peace officer by coming up with a list of people and animals that might do them harm. The idea is if the peace officer has to pay a visit to a place or person on the list, he takes certain precautions, such has having backup.

Presenting the report, CAO Allan Winarski spoke of an incident in Foothills County that was a catalyst for this new attempt to improve safety for peace officers. In that case, unarmed PO Rod Lazenby visited a property near Priddis that had been the subject of a complaint. He was attacked and killed by the resident.

Winarski admitted making a list of people who ‘might’ behave violently was loaded with pitfalls.

“The challenge is you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t,” he said.

The more council discussed it, the more problematic it seemed.

“The purpose of this is good,” said councillor Brian Rosche. “The execution of it maybe not so good.”

Winarski finally asked for it to be tabled.

“I think maybe we should push back on this,” he said.

Council agreed. Councillor Esau asked that when it comes back for discussion if Peace Officer Paul Mulholland can be there to provide his perspective.

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