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Hinshaw asks police chiefs to help enforce COVID-19 measures in Alberta

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The measures are in effect until Nov. 27.

‘Flagrant violations’

Edmonton Police Service (EPS) spokesman Scott Pattison said the service will continue to support Hinshaw to bring the pandemic under control.

“As has been our approach throughout the pandemic, the EPS will continue to prioritize education and awareness, where possible, in seeking compliance from the public regarding all COVID-19 restrictions,” Pattison said in an email Tuesday.

“In situations where flagrant violations are evident, an enforcement mechanism is also at our disposal. We encourage all Albertans to adhere to and respect these new COVID-19 restrictions, and to do their part to help flatten the curve.”

He confirmed between April 8 and May 13, 76 tickets for COVID-19 violations were issued and another 14 between May 14 and June 12. There have not been any tickets issued since.

A woman wears a mask to protect against COVID-19 while walking along 118 Avenue near 82 Street, in Edmonton Sunday Nov. 15, 2020. On Sunday 991 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Alberta. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia

‘Police are very busy’: Iveson

Meanwhile, the city is working with Alberta Health Services (AHS) on education around the new COVID-19 restrictions and reporting non-compliance hot spots. The city’s ability to enforce the measures, however, expired in the spring, Mayor Don Iveson said Tuesday.

“For a period of time the province had delegated the authority for all of our peace officers to do public health measure enforcement. That expired in the spring. I would be very happy to see the city take on a stronger role in that,” Iveson said.

“Police are very busy with other things and so dispatching them to public health issues I think is not an effective use of public resources with everything else that we’re dealing with public safety wise. So I would really appreciate it if the peace officers could be re-upped on their delegated authority to conduct enforcement of the measures that are in place.”

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