Bylaw enforcement officers’ work varies widely from one municipality to another. In smaller areas, a bylaw enforcement officer may look after a range of bylaws. These could include traffic control, parking, animal control, business licensing, and weed control. In larger centres, they may specialize in checking and enforcing specific bylaws.
In general, bylaw enforcement officers may:
- Conduct inspections and respond to complaints from citizens and businesses
- Try to get people to comply with bylaws by talking to them
- Interpret municipal bylaws and provincial and federal regulations
- Explain legislation to the public, city administration, and other agencies
- Issue orders to correct problems, such as unsightly property
- Fix problems when orders are not followed by arranging for work to be done and billed to the property owner
- Issue violations, traffic tags, or summonses and subpoenas, and prepare related legal documents
- Keep records
- Use specialized equipment related to specific bylaws (for example, weights and measures, noise level instruments, auto samplers for taking chemical samples)
- Investigate bylaw offences to prepare for court
- Appear in court and give testimony related to cases of bylaw offenders
- Work with other enforcement agencies including peace officers and police officers
The municipalities that hire bylaw enforcement officers define the powers they may use on the job under the Municipal Government Act. A municipality may apply to the Government of Alberta to have a bylaw enforcement officer appointed as a special constable, such as a community peace officer.