Open house looks for resident input on city police service
January 12, 2023 By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Jan. 12, 2023, Grande Prairie, Alta. – The City of Grande Prairie is hosting an open house for residents to share their thoughts and gain information on policing in the city as well as the potential municipal police service.
The open house will be held on Jan. 16 and 17 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Montrose Cultural Centre’s Teresa Sargent Hall.
“The feedback collected will provide city council with information to inform their decision on whether the City of Grande Prairie should continue to contract the RCMP to provide municipal policing services or establish our own modern municipal police service that would serve the community locally and responsively,” said the city in a news release.
The city has contracted MNP to engage with the community and create a detailed transition plan for establishing a municipal police service.
In December, consultations began with an online survey which closed on Dec. 23.
City council approved $250,000 for a detailed transition and public consultation plan at a special council meeting on Sept. 28.
“It is important that residents participate in the survey and open house so that we can hear your thoughts and consider them alongside other data that will be presented to city council in 2023,” said Jackie Clayton, city mayor.
The mayor said the detailed transition report would help council decide on a municipal police force.
“It will be so detailed and granular that it will show the impacts, the cost, the risks and the benefits,” she said in September.
The expected cost of a municipal police service is expected to cost $10-20 million.
City council was presented a Police Service Model Review at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Sept. 27.
Currently, the city contracts its municipal police services through the RCMP with a Municipal Police Services Agreement (MPSA).
“MPSAs are available through the Provincial Police Service Agreement (PPSA) between the (province) and RCMP,” reads the Police Service Model Review.
“If the (province) were to form a new Provincial Police Service, the RCMP will no longer be available to provide municipal contract policing in the City of Grande Prairie or elsewhere in Alberta.”
The information gathered from the open house, surveys, and stakeholder interviews will all be presented to city council in February.
– Town & Country News
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