June 19th, 2024

County opposed to provincial police service


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on January 22, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge County Reeve Tory Campbell released a statement earlier this week regarding the county’s position on a potential transition from the RCMP into an independent Alberta Provincial Police Service.
The statement reads in part “It is the Lethbridge County Council’s position that Alberta municipalities have not been adequately consulted on this matter.”
Lethbridge County Council and a majority of other rural municipalities do not support this proposed transition to an Alberta Provincial Police Service, which has a potential date of 2025.
Campbell’s statement says “We have regularly lobbied our MLAs and provincial ministers, but to this point, our concerns seem to have fallen on deaf ears.”
The Government of Alberta has relied on the Fair Deal Panel to inform its policy direction. From the panel’s recommendations, PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PwC) LLP was contracted to prepare a transition study report, to assess the operational requirements, processes and costs of transitioning from the RCMP to an Alberta Provincial Police Service.
The report was delivered to the provincial government in April 2021 and ultimately released publicly in November 2021, with the main concerns being raised pertaining to a potential policing transition revolving around costing, levels of service, and municipal input.
Beginning in 2021, the Government of Alberta began shifting the cost of policing to municipalities, resulting in a $352,000 cost to Lethbridge County to cover RCMP policing. This cost rose to $469,000 in 2022, with estimated costs to Lethbridge County of $704,000 in 2023 and 2024.
The PwC report has indicated the estimated cost to implement a transition to an Alberta Provincial Police Service will cost $366 million, but it fails to address many of the costing concerns held by municipalities. According to the municipality, this potentially creates an unrealistic, unfair, and excessive tax burden on County citizens.
“While we acknowledge that there are issues to be addressed regarding the current service being provided by the RCMP, we believe there are solutions to be found,” reads Campbell’s statement.
They also believe greater input on service from municipalities, stronger communication, and increased levels of service continue to be issues raised when they meet with RCMP representatives.
“We have had a long and beneficial relationship with the RCMP and look forward to building on that relationship in the future.”
The PwC report can be found on the Alberta government website at https://open.alberta.ca/publications/apps-transition-study-final-report

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