Open liquor topped the list of incidents reported by Prairie Bylaw Enforcement (PBLE) from their first 11 days back on patrol after an absence of almost two years from Thompson.
City council voted April 23 to spend $236,500, plus GST, to bring Prairie Bylaw back to after they left at loggerheads with council in 2010. Prairie Bylaw Enforcement decided in May 2010 to pull out of Thompson after almost three years when council chopped their annual contract amount by a third from $456,250 to $306,250. Prairie Bylaw Enforcement owner Dave Prud'homme declined to accept the $150,000 budget cut in return for reduced level of service, so the city asked him to end the contract almost seven months early, and he agreed.
PBLE kicked off their resumed duties on the Victoria Day long weekend and have collected their data for all incidents spanning between May 18 and May 29. The numbers were presented to city council on June 4.
Not surprisingly, the issue of open liquor was a run away as the most frequently reported, with 291 instances in the 11-day reporting period.
Loitering was the second most common, with 218 incidents, often times paired with open liquor.
There were 606 incidents in total were dealt with by PBLE, with the issues of drunk and disorderly behaviour, causing disturbance, littering, eight instances of public nudity, five incidents of urinating and defecating in public, and parking infractions rounding out the list of bylaw offences.
Since the reporting period ended and another has begun, PBLE topped their one-day total for open liquor, dumping 69 units on May 31.
“These numbers speak for themselves,” said Dave Prud’homme of PBLE, “we’ve been very busy, and the 69 units dumped in one day is more than we’ve ever had before.”
Of the incidents reported, a total of 10 summons were issued, five for parking violations and another five for the urinating and defecating in public.
In the first 11 days of service, PBLE fielded 53 requests, with 30 coming by telephone and 21 in person.
Mayor Tim Johnston commended the work of PBLE, stating that he has heard many positive comments and that the results are becoming visible.
“The stats are very interesting in light of such a short period, it’s clear that there is an impact already in the downtown,” said Johnston, “I’m also glad the parking tickets were mentioned and I will issue no apologies, we will ticket cars parked in handicap zones and will continue to do so even though the focus for PBLE is on the downtown area.”
Johnston also made note of the visible presence that PBLE has had thus far, whether in their vehicles or on foot.
The numbers are a concern to Johnston, but he says that they are a reality and are being dealt with accordingly.
“It’s one of those things where the numbers are a cause for some concern,” said Johnston, “but it’s better to be dealing with them than be enabling them which we had been doing all of last year.”