HP-McL-PR not part of increased policing

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The Alberta government’s election promise of adding more police officers to fight crime has come to fruition.

However, none of the new police officers will be stationed in High Prairie, McLennan or Peace River.

The RCMP released details July 2 of Alberta’s Police Funding Model, which has resulted in additional resources for the Alberta RCMP for 2020-21.

Specifically, 76 new police officers and 57 new civilian support positions were added. The additional resources will directly or indirectly support frontline policing in communities the RCMP serves across rural Alberta.

To date, the RCMP has filled 46 positions to increase rural policing levels and to enhance rural crime reduction efforts. The filled positions include 25 frontline police positions in Alberta rural communities; 18 centralized police officer positions to provide support and specialized services to all rural Alberta RCMP detachments; and three civilian support positions to provide administrative and program support across the RCMP provincial jurisdiction.

To determine allocation of new resources, an analysis of workload was undertaken at each detachment. The analysis included factors such as travel time, call volume, the type of crimes occurring in the area, amount of time required for investigations, size of detachment, and time available for proactive policing.

In the Western Alberta District, which serves the Peace Country, five positions were added, one each in Beaverlodge, Edson, Evansburg, Mayer- thorpe and Valleyview.

Barry Morishita is the president of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association serving villages, towns and cities.

“Policing and public safety resourcing levels continue to be an issue for rural communities across Alberta. It is encouraging to see the RCMP partially investing the increased police cost contributions from rural municipalities into frontline resources in rural Alberta,” he says.

“RMA looks forward to working with the RCMP and Government of Alberta to identify how rural municipalities can have greater input into determining where increased rural policing resources are distributed throughout the province, which will hopefully lead to improved rural service levels.”

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