Alberta budget calls for 40 new RCMP officers across the province
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 11:38 am
The 2014 Alberta budget called for a $5.9 million investment into the RCMP to provide an additional 40 frontline officers.
These officers will be assigned across the province to protect and serve rural communities that are protected under the Provincial Police Service Agreement (PPSA).
No decision has been made yet as to where the 40 new officers will be delegated, save for two positions at organizations dealing with crimes against children.
The Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre in Calgary will have one full-time officer, as will the Zebra Child Protection Centre in Edmonton.
“These officers will be assigned to investigate crimes of a sexual nature against children,” said Sgt. Josée Valiquette, RCMP K Division. “We worked with these organizations in the past, but now we will have officers working there full time.”
The PPSA indicates that the RCMP will serve rural communities that do not have their own police force. This funding will not provide officers to Airdrie RCMP on the municipal side as they are contracted and paid for by the City, with 90 per cent of the funding from Airdrie’s budget and the other 10 per cent from federal funding.
Airdrie Rural RCMP serves areas that include Balzac. Sgt. Gordon Sage of the Airdrie RCMP hopes that growth in the Balzac area will factor into the decision of where new officers are delegated.
“I’m glad that there is going to be more positions in rural areas, I would hope there will be some discussion for more rural officers out here,” said Sage.
“There’s a lot of growth with the Balzac (CrossIron Mills) mall and rural growth and the expansion of a new casino and racetrack out there; we’ll voice our thoughts and a decision will be made based on where the biggest needs are.”
On the municipal side, the City has already requested and budgeted for an additional two RCMP officers this year.
There are currently more than 1,500 officers in Alberta communities that are served by the PPSA, spread throughout 112 detachments across the province.
“This is a significant investment in the future of Alberta’s provincial police service,” said Marianne Ryan, Commanding Officer of the RCMP in Alberta.
“We appreciate the government of Alberta’s continued commitment to the safety and security of Albertans and the employees who serve them.”