Exclusive: Alberta moves forward with regional policing model as it mulls provincial force

The United Conservative Government, although not the Alberta Police, is looking to help at least one municipality replace the RCMP.

Alberta’s Minister of Public Safety has said the province has not yet decided whether to introduce its own police force, but to improve security and reduce response times in Alberta’s rural areas. It said it was considering other immediate options.

“For me, if you’re in rural Alberta and someone calls 911, you expect the police to show up and respond in a timely manner,” Mike Ellis told Global News.

Will this change the Alberta Government’s interest in the State Police Service?

“I wouldn’t say that nothing is on the back burner, but I would say that all options are on the table,” says Ellis.

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The state partners with local governments to help with the costs associated with starting their own local police services.

“It’s about, ‘What does the city need most?’ Yes,” Ellis added.

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Experts join Alberta government proposal to create a provincial police force

Grande Prairie has pondered the idea of ​​starting its own local police service. If the city goes ahead, Alberta will provide her nearly $10 million over two years. The money will be used for initial costs such as equipment, vehicles and uniforms.

The state is expected to formally announce this on Wednesday.

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Other local governments have also reportedly expressed interest in setting up their own police departments.

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Alberta Police plans to “decentralize” urban detachments with a minimum staffing of 10 officers.

Political scientist Lori Williams says the approach represents a bit of a change from the state — less confrontational than the original plan.

“I think this makes more sense in some respects than the agenda the government has seemed to pursue for some time, against the wishes of most of Alberta’s rural municipalities. I will,” she said.

“If you listen to the voice of the local government that does not want to do it and continue” [not want to do it]So it looks like they are keeping their promise to listen to the people of Alberta. ”

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Alberta Justice Minister outlines plan for provincial police

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In August 2022, the UCP government outlined plans for what Alberta’s police service could look like.

Justice Minister Tyler Shandro said 275 frontline officers would be added to the 42 small detachments.

He said police created in Alberta would provide better police in all areas, including improved response times.

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Alberta municipalities pay part of the cost of additional policing

Alberta’s municipalities, meanwhile, have long opposed the idea of ​​a state police force, but are still unsure whether withdrawing from the RCMP is the right move.

RMA’s Kara Westerlund said:

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“Initial costs and those one-off costs are a bucket drop compared to what’s coming down the pipe down the road,” she added.

“I still feel like the choice is pre-determined. What it’s going to be like.”

Ellis will be heading to Grand Prairie on Wednesday with Mayor Jackie Clayton.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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