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  • Writer's pictureErin Dentzien

Law Enforcement in the Early Years

We came upon a story of how policing came to the area and how it has evolved. Read on...

Before the summer villages came together under incorporation each area had their own responsibilities to employ and uphold policing enforcement.

Property and traffic offences were on the rise and something had to be done to curb the crimes

Stepping Forward

Argentia Beach was served by the RCMP detachment out of Wetaskiwin. However, that was quite the drive and area to cover for what was a much smaller force in the 60's. Spring of 1967, the Village Council made the move to hire their own Constable, W.R. (Bill) McBain. The council recognized the need for more continual patrols of the area to prevent the slew of break-ins and theft plaguing residents.

Bill McBain kept busy checking cabins, conducting patrols and keeping the community safe through every season. On one particular evening McBain recalled fifteen consecutive break-ins and apprehending two juveniles, responsible for multiple crimes. The year of 1969, saw Thorsby RCMP take over the north side of Pigeon Lake enforcement including Argentia Beach. Unfortunately, patrols were far and few between due to the same concerns of distance and manpower as seen before. However, McBain still stayed on with council encouragement and funding to patrol the Argentia Beach section.

A Life Well Served

Bill McBain hung his cap and badge up for retirement in 1980, after a long and well appreciated time serving and protecting the residents of Argentia Beach and surrounding area. The Village then hired the Pigeon Lake Police; a force which was established by Contable Al Musser and had been actively patrolling other summer villages at that time. The force continued to serve the area under the new title "Pigeon Lake Regional Constabulary" which took effect in 1988, with the newly introduced Alberta Police Act. The force consisted of four officers and kept busy policing the ever popular area of Argentia Beach and beyond. The forces motto is "to serve, protect and assist village residents in any way they can."

Information/Details provided by: Summer Village Of Argentia Beach, . 25th Anniversary, 1967-1992: Summer Village of Argentia Beach. 1st ed., Published, 1992.

That's all for now folks! Stay tuned for our next post as more stories are collected and submitted.

~History Book Team~

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