Questions & Answers

1.  What are Community Safety Officers (CSOs)?

CSOs are appointed under Sec 77.4(1) of The Police Services Act.

When appointed, and as per Sec 77.5(2), are sworn Peace Officers that uphold certain aspects of the law of that of police officers.

The CSO program was created in 2017 in response to municipalities' growing concerns about the decreasing police presence and rising crime rates.

RCMP vacancy rates across Canada have been on a steady decline. The CSO program is designed to take on some medium to low-risk responsibilities so that RCMP can prioritize their focus on responding to active criminal code and high-risk incidents.

2. How are CSOs funded?

The CSOs are municipal employees. The program is funded through our annual tax levy.

3. What powers do CSOs have?

As Peace Officers, they have powers of arrest and detention and are able to conduct searches and seizures.

4. What training is required to be appointed as a CSO?

A training program has been established by MB Justice. Phase 1 of the training is four weeks, and Phase 2 is another two weeks.

Before being appointed as a CSO, the candidate must have completed a minimum of the Phase 1 CSO course or must possess equivalent training. The equivalent training is assessed on a case-to-case basis and is determined solely by MB Justice.

5. What are the minimum standards for employment as a CSO?

Candidates must meet the following to be a CSO:

  • 18 years of age
  • Clear and current criminal records check
  • Clear and current adult and child abuse check
  • Internal Background and Reference Check conducted by the RM and MB Justice
  • MB Class 4 Driver’s License
  • Must be of good character and sound judgment

6. How does a CSO program get implemented?

Manitoba Justice delivered a comprehensive presentation on the Community Safety Officer program, equipping councils with invaluable insights into its potential advantages for the municipality. Following careful deliberation, the RM, the RCMP, and Manitoba Justice signed an operating agreement.

7. What types of things do they enforce?

The CSO can uphold numerous provincial acts, as well as some Criminal and municipal laws. The CSO program is dynamic, meaning MB Justice constantly expands their roles and duties.

CSOs are responsible for enforcing certain provisions of the following provincial statutes:

  • Highway Traffic Act
  • Intoxicated Persons Detention Act
  • Off Road Vehicles Act
  • Child and Family Services Act
  • Liquor, Gaming, Cannabis Control Act
  • Trespass Act
  • The Minors Intoxicating Substances Act
  • The Mental Health Act
  • The Public Health Act
  • The Smoking and Vapor Products Control Act

8. When it comes to CSOs enforcing The Highway Traffic Act, what happens if I don’t pull over for them?

Failing to stop and remain stopped when signaled or requested by a Peace Officer under Sec 76.1(1) of The Highway Traffic Act or The Off-Road Vehicles Act is a serious charge provincially, as well as rides the line of a Criminal Code charge.

The fine is $672.00, which carries ten demerits as assessed by MPIC.

Furthermore, depending on the situation, it can warrant the driver to be arrested under the Criminal Code for Flight from Peace Officer.

9. Can CSOs pull me over outside of East St. Paul?

Yes and no. CSOs can enforce traffic laws within the RM boundaries of East St. Paul. If you committed the offense inside the boundary of East St. Paul, but the physical stop happened in a neighboring municipality, then yes, this is permitted.

If the offense occurred outside of East St. Paul, then no.

Again, this is a reminder that the CSO authorities do change, and this is one of the topics that has been brought up and is looking at being changed by MB Justice. The proposed amendment would have CSOs having “provincial” status, meaning they can exercise their duties anywhere in Manitoba.

10. Do CSOs have a ticket quota? Are they here to generate revenue for the RM?

No, there is no policy, procedure, or directive from ESP administration that has been put in place that requires CSOs to meet a minimum quota for tickets.

CSOs are considered revenue neutral, meaning council does not budget fine revenue collected through a fiscal year for other RM projects.

CSOs will be targeting drivers who willingly choose to breach provisions of The Highway Traffic Act. They will also be enforcing our Traffic By-law which also governs the use of truck traffic on our roadways.

Drivers or companies that choose to deliberately run stop signs, speed, or race other vehicles down our roads, especially if they have been pulled over and warned previously, we expect that those drivers will be issued fines. The discretion to issue a ticket lies solely with the CSOs.

11. Can CSOs perform field sobriety tests and enforce impaired driving?

Yes, a recent amendment made in February 2024 to the CSO powers and duties allows CSOs to perform a roadside breathalyzer (ASD), the Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST), and an oral fluid sample at the roadside on Approved Drug Screening Equipment (ADSE).

Failure to cooperate with CSOs to perform any of these tests can and will result in arrest and criminal charges, which carry the same penalties as impaired driving.

12. What is the expectation of the CSOs in the community?

CSOs are actively patrolling East St. Paul by performing high visibility patrols with marked cruiser cars.

At nighttime, the emergency lights on their cruiser cars illuminated but not flashing—called “cruise mode.” This further enhances their visibility to the residents and anyone else in the immediate area of their presence. Studies have shown that patrols done in this way rapidly decrease crime and enhance the visual presence of law enforcement in that community.

The CSOs are expected to perform numerous patrols through the community to deter crime and assist the RCMP. By doing active patrols, CSOs may come across on-view criminal activities, and depending on the circumstances, they will engage and potentially intervene.

They are further expected to engage and interact with the public and respond to community safety complaints such as but not limited to highway traffic act concerns, illegal parking or stopping in school zones, no truck routes, overweight vehicles, patrolling high break-in or vandalism areas etc.

13. What do the CSOs look for when patrolling in the community?

While patrolling, the CSOs are always looking for any type of violation, whether a traffic infraction or criminal activity.

They are trained in detection techniques, intelligence gathering, surveillance, and visual techniques, to name a few. They use these skills and knowledge to detect behaviors, patterns, and suspicious circumstances while patrolling the streets.

Examples of this are garage doors open but no vehicles in the driveway, front doors that are open with no apparent property owners around, broken windows on houses and cars, audible burglar alarms, etc.

Typically, the CSOs will conduct patrols through the streets looking for people and vehicles that look and seem out of place. Further, the Automated License Plate Readers will be able to run license plates through MPI to check for validity. If plates or the owner of that vehicle are suspended, prohibited from driving, or come up as stolen, CSOs will be automatically alerted via their laptops.

14. What type of vehicles do the CSOs drive?

When the CSO program was first launched in ESP, the CSOs were driving a vehicle on loan from Public Works. The vehicle was meant as a temporary measure until the actual CSO vehicles were up-fitted and delivered to the RM.

As the public became aware of the vehicle in question, there were many calls to the RM office and the RCMP, which we applaud the residents for. This shows the strength of this community in reporting something that seemed out of the ordinary.

As of March 2024, the CSOs are now driving the newer Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid All-Wheel Drive SUVs.

Yes, you read that correctly - hybrid police-rated vehicles. In 2020, Ford introduced the first-ever hybrid police-rated vehicle, and many police agencies across Canada have boasted about their performance.

Further, we’ve received feedback from our CSOs on them, and this is what they had to say. The vehicles barely idle, it’s just battery. When cruising down most of the streets, it’s also battery, but when you need the power to quickly get going, the gasoline engine kicks on, and you get the power from both.

So far fuel consumption is far less than the standard gasoline engines. On average, our CSOs are filling up their cruisers every 7-8 days and averaging about 600-700kms per tank of gas. This is one of the big cost savers to the RM.

15. What type of equipment do the CSOs have in their vehicles?

The CSOs have fully marked cruiser cars with an enhanced emergency lighting package. The vehicles also contain a prisoner partition separating the front and rear seating and a rear partition separating the rear and trunk areas. This allows for increased officer safety from anyone detained or arrested and placed in the back of their cars.

The CSOs have rugged laptops that have specialized law enforcement software for records management and dispatch purposes.

The cruisers are equipped with a 4K front dash-cam rear prison area camera, and rear dash-cam with audio like the RCMP vehicles.

They will also be equipped with radar for speed enforcement.

They will also be equipped with Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR), which automatically runs license plates through MPI. The plates that are uninsured, or if the driver of that vehicle is flagged as suspended or prohibited from driving, the CSOs will be automatically alerted to that vehicle where they can take a potential unregistered and unlicensed driver off the roadway. The same scenario also works for stolen vehicles.

16. What type of equipment do CSOs carry?

The CSO wears a blue uniform-collared shirt with a black shoulder patch. The shoulder patch contains the current East St. Paul RM logo and says, “COMMUNITY SAFETY PEACE OFFICER.”

They further have a black bulletproof vest and, on the front and rear, will say “PEACE OFFICER EAST ST. PAUL

They wear blue pants with a red stripe.

The CSOs will be equipped in the very short coming with body cameras which will record every interaction with any person while they’re executing their duties in the field.

17. Do CSOs handle by-law enforcement complaints?

CSOs have assumed by-law enforcement duties except for Dog Control.

For Dog Control concerns, please contact Prairie Bylaw Enforcement at 204-809-3231.

For all other bylaw enforcement concerns, residents must contact the RM office and leave their full name and contact information, which includes a phone number. Anonymous complaints will not be investigated or accepted. Call 204-668-8112 or email

18. What hours do the CSOs work?

The CSOs work in tandem, and their hours vary. There are currently no set times or shifts for the CSOs, but they have been working as early as 7:00 a.m. and as late as midnight.

The CSOs will engage with the public and work closely with the RCMP to identify hotspots and times of illegal activities and deploy resources to combat and deter these activities effectively.

19. Do we call the CSOs to report criminal activity?

NO! The CSO mandate, as regulated by MB Justice, is to support the RCMP and not take over criminal code calls or conduct criminal investigations.

CSOs can assist the RCMP with criminal code calls depending on the circumstances and only if requested by the police.

They are not permitted to be the primary dispatched unit for break-ins, stolen vehicles, assaults, etc.

For any in-progress criminal activities, always call 9-1-1.

If you witness a criminal offense in progress and flag down a CSO, the CSOs will engage from an on-view standpoint and coordinate with the RCMP to rectify the situation.

20. What types of calls do the CSOs handle then?

The CSOs are currently working with the Sergeants from the RCMP Red River North detachment and the RCMP Eastman Traffic Services to develop a list of call types that residents can use to contact both agencies.

So far, the following call types should be made to both agencies:

  • Motor Vehicle Collisions
  • Open Liquor Breaches
  • Intoxicated Persons walking in public
  • Reporting Highway Traffic Act violations such as aggressive or erratic drivers. If you suspect they are intoxicated, call 911.


Residents may call the CSOs for the following incidents:

  • Traffic Light Disruptions
  • Community safety concerns, i.e. speeding on a certain roadway, drivers running stop signs, etc.
  • Parking Complaints
  • By-law enforcement complaints

21. Will the CSOs be present at community events?

Yes, CSOs will actively engage with the public, build relationships within the community, and further demonstrate law enforcement's visual presence.

22. Who do the CSOs report to? Do they answer or take directions from the RCMP?

The CSOs currently fall under the direction of the Chief Administrative Officer. 

The RM is considering creating an oversight position for the CSOs, who would be directed by a Community Safety Coordinator.

CSOs do not report to or work under the direction of the RCMP. MB Justice has established the CSO program for municipalities to run the program as needed but within the confines of the signed operating agreement between MB Justice, the RM, and the RCMP.

CSOs work closely with the RCMP by enhancing the law enforcement footprint in the community.

23. Most common complaints received by our CSOs:

  • no police presence
  • everyone speeds down our road
  • we’ve seen the RCMP car once in the last year
  • vehicle break and enters happening in the early to late mornings
  • speeding and racing vehicles on Henderson Hwy starting from the Perimeter all the way northbound
  • speeding and racing vehicles on Raleigh from the Raleigh underpass to Hoddinott
  • speeding on Pritchard Farm Rd, Hoddinott, Birds Hill Rd, and Rebeck Rd

These are just a few examples of comments/complaints received by our CSOs.  They are working to address traffic concerns with RCMP traffic services.  Residents should expect to see them out in these areas a little more frequently.

CSOs are working modified shifts every day in an effort to deter break and enter.

24.  We’ve seen the CSO vehicles outside the RM; is this typical?

Yes! CSOs often travel from one side of the RM to the other, which requires them to pass through a neighboring municipality.

There are a vast number of reasons why CSOs may be out of the RM; some of these can include:

  • Process serving
  • Obtaining witness statements
  • Following up on investigations into non-criminal matters
  • Attending court
  • Attending meetings with legal
  • Picking up equipment, gear, or items for the CSO role or the RM
  • Meetings with other law enforcement agencies