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Coronation RCMP see tough housing situation in Castor

The Consort RCMP detachment is trying its best to get members into local communities, but

the NCO says homes aren’t always easy to come by.

Consort acting commander Cpl. Chad Salmi spoke to Castor town council at their regular

meeting Feb. 24. Salmi is also acting commander of the Coronation detachment area, which

includes Castor.

Salmi said the RCMP are currently in financial planning mode for the next fiscal year and

wanted to gather input from communities on priorities for policing and also hear community


He said the RCMP’s goals include reducing crime but also include enhancing public

confidence and engagement, goals which can be reached in a variety of ways: coffee breaks

with the RCMP, council meetings or simply talking with residents on the street.

Salmi noted the RCMP know that rural crime is a concern. However, he said he wanted to

hear directly from councilors about local issues.

Councilor Trudy Kilner said police visibility is important. “We don’t see them around here

enough,” said Kilner.

The corporal said the RCMP are looking at having members live in Castor, but housing is

always a concern. It seems there is always property for sale, but rental properties are usually

more in demand with newer or younger Mounties.

Salmi said an RCMP member recently had trouble finding a home in Coronation and the

rental market in Castor is also tight. He stated that if the rental market was better, he suspects

members would be attracted to Castor because, for example, it’s closer to Stettler and Red


It was noted that the RCMP likes to lease property, as the landowner remains responsible for


Mayor Richard Elhard said that as far as crime or safety concerns, speeding is always on the

lost, as are stop sign infractions. Elhard said it seems people treat stop signs as optional.

Councilor Tony Nichols agreed speeding is a concern. in Castor.

The mayor elaborated: he said 50 th Street “is kind of a race track,” and Castor residents also

have to deal with stunting on icy roads.

Councilor Lonny Nelner said every year council hears complaints from residents who are

concerned about speeding and stunting.

The subject of RCMP funding was mentioned. Salmi said it appears there may be increased

funding for the RCMP, but whether the Castor region sees another member is not known.

Salmi noted the average cost for an RCMP constable and patrol car is about $160,000.

Councilor Nichols echoed the concern. that he would like the RCMP to be more visible in the

Castor community.

Councilors accepted Salmi’s presentation as information.

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