Strathmore’s police department has a new detachment commander and “in brief,” he’s a man who knows his priorities.
Staff Sgt. Mark Wielgosz transferred to Strathmore roughly three months ago and appeared before Wheatland County Council on Oct. 5 to introduce himself and present about what he has in mind for the detachment.
Strathmore is Wielgosz’s seventh post in his 20-year career and he has served in three provinces. This will also be his third detachment command station.
Wielgosz previously served in Chestermere as detachment commander but lived in Strathmore during his tenure there.
He said to council his priorities are straightforward for the upcoming year, though aren’t by any means unimportant.
“Our priorities for this (fiscal) year are one, reductions in property crimes — that being break and enters, theft from motor vehicles, theft of vehicles; our second priority is road safety, to ensure that we’re reducing reportable collisions and injury collisions,” he said.
“Third and one priority that I take very seriously, is community engagement. I do believe that our members do need to be in the communities, speaking and interacting with the people with whom that they work with and represent.”
Wielgosz added he believes community interaction begins to foster a certain level of trust between residents and law enforcement.
“Without the support and help from our communities, it makes it really hard for us to do our jobs. For me community safety is not just the responsibility of the police, it’s for everybody. We’re just here to help do the things that residents aren’t able to do for themselves and certainly we’re here to make sure we’re making our communities as safe as possible,” said Wielgosz.
Councilor Tom Ikert took the opportunity while Wielgosz was in the office to clarify where the new detachment in Langdon fits under the detachment structure within the county.
“I live on the west side of the county and I’m thankful to see more police presence as officers seem to be heading west from Strathmore,” said Ikert.
Wielgosz explained the Langdon office is currently a satellite of the Strathmore detachment and still, for the time being, operates under their jurisdiction.
They do have a municipal contract in place with three dedicated members to the community of Langdon,” said Wielgosz.
“Going forward, after the federal census results come in and how things progress there, we may see some more growth and Langdon may become a standalone detachment.”
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times