If you get pulled over for speeding on a Lethbridge street in the near future, it may not necessarily be a police officer that hands you a ticket.
The Lethbridge Police Service unveiled a new, fully outfitted Dodge Ram truck for the city’s community peace officers (CPO) on Tuesday, officers who will eventually be enforcing various laws.
The truck is ready to roll this week and the second vehicle, a Subaru SUV, is expected to hit the streets by November.
When they complete training, Lethbridge CPOs will have the authority to enforce city bylaws, various provincial statutes and even parts of the Criminal Code.
Peace officers are legally not allowed to drive official police vehicles, which up until now has left them with few options for getting around the city.
Sgt. Mike Williamson said the new vehicles will ensure the service’s nine CPOs have everything they need when they complete their last stages of training next month.
“So now I can get them out and they can drive an actual vehicle. Part of the training will now be in these vehicles.”
The new vehicles will provide a resource for the team that has been training with LPS officers for a few weeks.
“It’s very exciting to have community peace officers with us in the enhanced capacity that we have them,” Williamson said.
“We’re very different than anywhere else in the province and we’re a pilot for many other places in the province and that’s very exciting.”
Williamson also said the vehicles will be a resource for more than just day-to-day law enforcement.
“Our truck is kitted out for prisoner transport so it will function for that as well,” Williamson said.
“The Subaru will not have a cage and it will be more an administrative vehicle — for traffic enforcement and responding to calls. Regardless, drivers and those that they stop will have the same obligations to provide registration, insurance and other documents requested.”
The new Lethbridge CPO truck is outfitted for arrests and prisoner transport.
Both vehicles are outfitted with sirens, data terminals and lights similar to police vehicles in the city.