Indian Head, Saskatchewan

Case Study: By-law enforcement

Commissionaires are experts when it comes to assisting municipalities and police departments with non-core police services.  In fact, Commissionaires provides by-law enforcement, traffic control, detainee services, process serving and many more duties to more than 80 communities across Canada.

Typically, Commissionaires take on behind-the-scenes, non-core tasks to free up police officers for more critical duties. In addition, these services help reduce costs for municipalities as well as enabling police officers to be back in the front line of duty, protecting communities.

The same services are vitally important in smaller communities where no established police force exists.  Often, they rely on RCMP detachments to provide law enforcement as needed. But day-to-day, there are community expectations to be met and by-laws that must be followed. The Town of Indian Head, Saskatchewan, population just 1815 is exactly that type of community with exactly those needs.

Challenges

The town council of Indian Head, SK desired to improve their already idyllic town, by ensuring that noise levels were kept to a minimum, yards were tidy and streets were clean and safe. It fell to Town Administrator, Cam Thauberger to ensure the community’s needs in those areas were met and that by-laws were adhered to.

For Thauberger, a large amount of his time was spent handling complaints, dealing with parking problems etc.  He needed to free up his time to be more involved with the administration, organization and running of the town.

Solution

Thauberger met a representative from the Commissionaires South Saskatchewan office. He heard that Commissionaires performed by-law enforcement and explained the situation in Indian Head. “Commissionaires listened to our needs and created a solution for us that was basically customized just for us,” said Thauberger.

Results

Since the town hired a Commissionaire two years ago, the responsibilities of the role have evolved to include by-law education as much as enforcement said Thauberger.  “The role of our Commissionaire is about education, not so much about fines,” said Thauberger. “It’s about letting residents know what’s right and what’s wrong.” 

Rather than hand out warnings and prepare reports, Thauberger finds that what works best for their community is to help the residents understand what is expected when it comes to noise levels, tidiness of yards, parking, etc.   “It doesn’t help the morale of the community to come down too hard on them.  They want a safe, secure neighbourhood and to have their resources protected.  Our Commissionaire gives us that,” Thauberger explained.

“Our Commissionaire deals with tough situations when he needs to.  He’s willing to work with us and change approaches in order to meet the town’s requirements.  I’m very impressed with that,” said Thauberger.

Simply having a Commissionaire on duty in the vicinity affects behaviours.  “Our Commissionaire can control the way students drive just by being a beneficial influence and by being seen nearby,” noted Thauberger.

“All my dealings with Commissionaires have been very good.  I would not think twice about hiring Commissionaires in the future.  It’s been a great experience to work with them and a very smooth, very professional experience,” said Thauberger.