A new member of the RCMP is here from B.C. to help our local police force. Starting this month, the Lloydminster RCMP and the City of Lloydminster have deployed traffic “scarecrows” in spots around the city. The life-size, metal cut-outs of uniformed RCMP officers are going to be positioned in visible spots next to roadways.

The Constable Scarecrow program began in Coquitlam, B.C. in mid-2018. Less than six months after its inception, the Coquitlam RCMP reported the number of drivers exceeding the speed limit by 10 km/h was reduced by around 50 per cent. Each cut-out costs about $325 to produce. The city’s senior manager of public safety, Glenn Alford, welcomes the new recruits and looks forward to how they can reduce the city’s expenses on traffic enforcement.

“The new recruits aren’t much for conversation, but they have proven highly effective in their duties with other municipalities. The scarecrow initiative will help our local RCMP have an enhanced presence in the community and encourage responsible driving behaviour for a fraction of what it would cost to have a police officer assigned to monitor the site,” says Alford.

Coquitlam’s own scarecrow program found only 2.5 per cent of drivers were going more than 10 km/h over the limit and just four people broke the speed limit by 30 km/h or more. The success has caused the decoy’s contract to be extended for a year. Alford is thankful for the success of the pilot and expects similar effects here in the Border City.

“We thank the City of Coquitlam and the Coquitlam RCMP detachment for sharing their experiences and guidance on the scarecrow program. We expect this program will have positive results here in Lloydminster.”