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Alberta unveils new police funding model


December 12, 2019
By Staff
Justice Minister and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer shakes hands with an RCMP officer in Leduc County. Photo: Government of Alberta

Alberta has announced it is adding more than 500 RCMP positions in rural communities across the province and fostering a new public safety partnership with municipalities.

The Government of Alberta’s new police funding model will inject more than $286 million over five years into frontline law enforcement for these additional RCMP officer and civilian positions. This cost-sharing partnership will see small and rural communities begin to pay a portion of frontline policing costs, bringing them into line with larger communities and cities, the government said.

Under the cost-sharing terms in the Provincial Police Service Agreement (PPSA), Alberta pays 70 per cent of policing costs and the federal government covers the remaining 30 per cent. With the additional investment from municipalities, the federal share of the PPSA will increase as well. This partnership will constitute a total increase in rural police funding of more than $286 million over five years with every dollar of the additional funds invested in frontline policing.

“The Government of Alberta has made an unprecedented investment in their police service, and we are ready to deliver on that commitment,” said Curtis Zablocki, Deputy Commissioner, RCMP. “The funding model announced will allow the Alberta RCMP to put additional resources where they are needed most immediately – on the frontline in your detachments, protecting your backyards and your farmyards, pushing back crime in a sophisticated and focused manner.”

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The province is creating a new Alberta Police Advisory Board where municipal leadership will have a seat at the table, working in collaboration with law enforcement to ensure local needs are heard and implemented. This new governance mechanism will ensure that policing is in line with the priorities of those they are protecting.

This partnership places priority on adding uniformed patrol officers in rural RCMP detachments, increasing the total number from under 1,600 to about 1,900, and will also add members to specialized RCMP units that dismantle organized crime and drug trafficking and investigate auto and scrap metal theft.

Small and rural communities, with some exceptions, will begin contributing a portion of their frontline policing costs in 2020. To give communities time to adjust, the new funding model is being phased in: communities will contribute 10 per cent of policing costs in 2020, followed by 15 per cent in 2021, 20 per cent in 2022 and 30 per cent in 2023.