View our mobile site

Policing plan calls for more officers

Council receives long-term departmental plan that asks for increased resources

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 06:00 am

POLICE PLAN – A policing plan that was recently completed calls for more RCMP and municipal enforcement officers.
POLICE PLAN – A policing plan that was recently completed calls for more RCMP and municipal enforcement officers.
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

Comments    |   

Print    |   

A A


A plan calling for more police and municipal enforcement officers was presented to council on Monday night.

Encompassing both RCMP and municipal enforcement, the policing long term departmental plan will serve as a guiding document for police resource planning.

The motion passed unanimously by council which received the plan as information, authorized administration to use it as a guide and also triggered a review of council’s policy on policing services that will be presented to council by the end of June 2015.

While the plan was opened up for public comment, not many bothered to participate policing services manager Aaron Giesbrecht said.

“Administration received less than 10 responses from the public,” Giesbrecht told council.

The report calls for changes to the RCMP and municipal enforcement officer to resident ratios.

The recommended RCMP to resident ratio is one officer for every 1,000 residents. It’s currently 1: 1,193.

The recommended municipal enforcement services officer to resident ratio is 1:5,000. The actual level is 1:1,746.

Coun. Wes Brodhead questioned what he saw as contradictory information about crime rates – overall, crime rates are going down but the report speaks of increases in different kinds of crime and the additional work involved.

RCMP Insp. Kevin Murray was on-hand and said the more sophisticated crime takes a lot more time investment by individual officers, as does the administration that comes with investigations like preparing documentation for court.

Requests for increased numbers are the result of “the type of crimes that are occurring and the amount of time that our officers are having to invest,” Murray said.

Eventually the city will have to decide where and how it wants to spend its policing dollars, Murray said.

“St. Albert is a community which enjoys a significant amount of proactive policing services, but it comes at a cost,” he said.

Coun. Sheena Hughes wanted to see evidence presented to show the need for new staff, including more municipal employees to help the RCMP and enforcement services administrate.

While council was happy to receive the plan as information, some council members did note that they weren’t sure they’d be willing to approve business cases for new officers come budget time.

“It is expensive for every additional police officer,” said Coun. Sheena Hughes.


Comments


NOTE: To post a comment in the new commenting system you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, OpenID. You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The St. Albert Gazette welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to delete comments deemed inappropriate. We reserve the right to close the comments thread for stories that are deemed especially sensitive. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher.

All comments are moderated, and if approved could take up to 48 hours to appear on the website.

blog comments powered by Disqus