Stettler County peace officers want shotguns

By Canadian Press

Stettler County council balked at the idea of firearms for their municipal peace officers when the idea was presented to them at their regular council meeting Mar. 11.

Peace Officer Lee Hardman presented councillors with a request to consider providing peace officers with shotguns to humanely handle the putting down of wildlife in distress.

Hardman stated peace officers have been called to animals in distress in the past and had no way of handling the situation. He said this was the main reason for the request, while the issue of aggressive dogs was less so.

Hardman noted many other municipalities allow their peace officers access to shotguns.

Coun. James Nibourg said he was concerned about the impression the public would get if the county allowed peace officers access to firearms. Also, he said the estimated cost of $5,000 to $10,000 based on one complaint was not acceptable. Nibourg also stated this looked like provincial downloading.

Coun. Dave Grover said county peace officers aren’t trained to handle firearms which seemed to create a liability issue and he wouldn’t support the request.

Coun. Les Stulburg said he felt the peace officers could handle the responsibility, but agreed with Nibourg that this looked like provincial downloading.

Coun. Wayne Nixon stated this would place a lot of responsibility on the county and its peace officers.

Ultimately, a motion to forward this request to committee for consideration was defeated by a 3 – 4 vote.

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/East Central Alberta Review

Sascha Luehr photo

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