Kneehill County, north west of Drumheller, has decided to be proactive when it comes to fighting crime. Jerry WittstockJerry Wittstock. Photo courtesy Kneehill County.
 
"Rural crime is a huge issue throughout the province and it is also an issue here in Kneehill County," explained Reeve Jerry Wittstock. "We're just looking to show that we've got a peace officer and he is patrolling our rural areas protecting our rural citizens and hopefully stopping crime before it happens."
 
The county is adding a Level 2 Community Peace Officer in an effort to keep criminals at bay.
 
"It's basically visibility," allowed Wittstock. "If you're seen, then maybe crime is a little less likely to happen if the criminals know they're being watched."
 
Kneehill County already has two peace officers, but the new officer will exclusively patrol rural areas.
 
"There is RCMP and as good a job as they can do, they're short staffed and they have huge areas to cover and can't be every place at the right time," noted Wittstock.
 
Provincial crime statistics show there has been a marked increase in rural areas in recent years as criminals travel out from the major centres to look for easier pickings.
 

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