File photo

Government invests $10 million to fight rural crime

Provincial and federal funding to be used for more officers, civilian staff and Crown prosecutors

The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley and RCMP Deputy Commissioner Todd Shean just announced $10 million is being invested to combat rural crime. The provincial government is providing the first $8 million and of the remaining $2 million the federal government will contribute 70 percent under the Provincial Police Service Agreement(PPSA) and the remaining 30 percent will be contributed by the Government of Canada.

“This funding will enable us to greatly expand our crime-reduction efforts across Alberta and strengthen our criminal intelligence program,” said Shean.

When contacted by Black Press, March 9, RCMP media relations group spokesperson Cpl. Laurel Scott said the increased funding program is still in its initial stage, so where and how the money is going to be spent is not yet known.

“I don’t know where the province/RCMP has allocated it’s money/positions,” stated Scott in an email.

The announcement also included descriptions of several staffing positions under the new funding. Thirty-nine new officers and 40 civilian staff will be hired with the first $8 million and the rest will be used to hire Crown prosecutors focused solely on rural crime.

Ganley also shared a seven-point action plan intended to help protect rural Albertans and their property. The plan includes crime reduction units, specialized police intelligence, a policing support centre, more Crown prosecutors, better coordinations, enhanced technology and public education and engagement.

“If you are committing crime in Alberta, we will identify you and we will stop you,” said Shean.

The action plan places the focus on sharing information to help RCMP identify and arrest repeat offenders. The plan also includes hiring more staff to carry out routine tasks so officers are freed up to spend more time on patrol and in the community checking up on potential problems.

“While there’s no single easy solution to fix rural crime, our strategy puts several important tools in the crime-fighting toolbox. More civilian staff means more frontline officers on the street, while more Crown prosecutors will mean more timely access to justice,” Ganley said.

The crime reduction units will consist of specially trained officers focused on arresting repeat offenders. The RCMP also plans to bring in six more intelligence-focused officers and four crime analysts to target organized crime.

Cpl. Scott described the positions, writing: “The crime analysts will be civilian staff. The intelligence officers will be RCMP regular members.”

The new support centre will consist of 23 civilians to record investigative updates officers dictate over the phone. This information will be shared with sheriffs, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and conservation officers, coordinating the efforts of all official law enforcement throughout Alberta.

The RCMP will be working with Alberta Justice and Solicitor General as well as other partners to look into using technology in new ways such as creating bait programs to help deal with rural crimes.

The PPSA provides policing to all rural municipalities at no direct costs. This includes municipal districts, counties and Metis settlements of any population, as well as towns, villages and summer villages with populations under 5,000.



myra.nicks@sylvanlakenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake and Eckville slowly climbing out of the deep freeze

The Weather Network says warmer, more moderate temperatures are on the way

Lacombe County, Clearwater County sign Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework

ICF specifies what and how services are funded and delivered

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

Advance care planning helps you document your healthcare wishes

It’s important that your loved ones and your healthcare team understand your wishes for healthcare

Central Alberta farm home to Himalayan-natives

Shane Juuti at West Gimlet Farms grew from having two yaks to over 450 since 1996

Rebels fight back from 3-1 Raider lead to win 4-3 in shootout

Two goals by Zak Smith key to Rebels comeback

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Most Read