Gateway Gazette

A Statement from Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki, Commanding Officer of the Alberta RCMP

The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed our day-to-day lives and challenged society in ways we haven’t experience in decades. What hasn’t changed is the fact Albertans can count on the RCMP every day, including during times of public health emergencies. Their provincial police force is fully operational, responsive and committed to the safety and security of the province.

Over the past few weeks, we have seen significant developments in terms of how our federal and provincial governments are working to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Our governments are relying upon law enforcement agencies to assist them in enforcing public health orders, and we are ready to do our part.

Community peace officers and police officers will enforce public health orders such as gatherings of groups of 15 or more, non-compliant business operations and violations of the direction to self-isolate. Additionally, the federal Quarantine Act is now in effect in our country. This act helps our federal government ensure those who are required to quarantine are doing so. What this means to the RCMP and those we serve is our officers will assist those who are ensuring quarantine orders are being followed.

These steps are significant. While these orders need to be enforced, it is our hope that Albertans can see how very important it is to follow all health orders issued and will choose to do so willingly. It is in the best interest of all of us if we can work together to follow the orders and maintain the health of ourselves, our families and each other.

I want to thank Albertans for their understanding and patience as we have changed some aspects of how our service is delivered to ensure everyone’s safety. From following government direction on physical distancing to respecting new processes in our facilities that help us maintain the safety of citizens and our employees alike, I can tell you it is having positive results in terms of our policing services.

I also want to assure you we continue to work to ensure our service is flexible and responsive, constantly evaluating how our operations are impacted by the virus, readying ourselves for the weeks and months ahead. Albertans play a critical role in how much risk we all face going forward. As our team is readying itself for what may come, I ask all citizens to simply stay home. It is one of the easiest ways they can help us keep Albertans safe and healthy.

Alberta RCMP Enforcement of Public Health Orders

The RCMP is working with Alberta Health Services and the Public Health Agency of Canada to support compliance efforts related to provincial public health orders and the federal Quarantine Act. Public Health Inspectors will be following up on the majority of these concerns internally, but may still need to rely on law enforcement agencies if necessary. If a Public Health Inspector is unable to resolve the issue, the police of jurisdiction will be called to assist. Depending on the level of risk and availability, RCMP officers will refer these complaints to Community Peace Officers (CPOs), or address the complaint themselves. There will be times when these calls are received directly by our organization. Urgent situations will be managed directly by our members, or CPOs, and in those non-urgent situations, the complainant can be redirected to the Alberta Health Services reporting website. When appropriate, the RCMP’s first action will be education and voluntary compliance before enforcement. We trust Albertans will understand the importance of following health directions willingly. Everyone needs to do their part for their own health and safety and that of all Albertans. We all need to work together to flatten the curve.

Important points:

  • There is no change to our response to emergency calls for service.
  • If you would like to submit a report of a violation to the Public Heath Order, do not call 911. Submit a claim through the Alberta Health Services website.
  • RCMP members will be working with our federal and provincial partners to educate the public on the importance of complying with the public health orders.

Highlights of the public health orders:

  • Gatherings of 15 people or more are prohibited.
  • Those in quarantine must adhere to the direction provided by health officials.
  • Limited operation of certain categories of business and complete closures of others.
  • Recreational and entertainment venues are closed.
  • General visitation to most health care facilities is prohibited.

A full list of the public health orders can be found on the Government of Alberta website.

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