Council was told security hired to prevent encampments wouldn’t make arrests. One councillor is questioning why city documents say otherwise.
“I wanted to make a big point about the absurdity of this — and I’m not blaming anyone,” said Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong.
Councillors were in the same meeting, standing room only, listening to a presentation by security officers.
But councillors weren’t told by staff that their officers wouldn’t make arrests. Instead, they were told there would be a risk assessment of the encampments and that the assessment would help decide how they would respond to any situation.
“That would have been in the context of, ‘Is this a safe place,’” Minnan-Wong said.
In response to the request that the RCMP provide a description of “risk to public safety,” the RCMP said it can’t release that information to the public.
“Because of the potential of public and media abuse of the information that is released, it cannot be released,” a spokesperson said in an email, adding the information in the documents the RCMP provided to city staff was provided to them by the RCMP.
The RCMP also declined to say whether it consulted with RCMP staff to prepare the information for city staff and councillors.
“For operational reasons, we must only release material which is specifically requested of us,” RCMP Staff Sgt. Todd Beaudet said in an email.
The information provided to city staff was in response to a request from Councillor Shawna Kemper for details of police measures intended to address the camp.
A presentation titled “Measures taken to improve the security of the Kananaskis Neskonlith First Nation land” was presented to council by Constable Jeff Lacey.
It was requested and approved by council just under a month ago. Lacey was to attend a