EDMONTON, AB, June 27, 2022 /CNW/ - The National Police Federation today launched a list of 72 municipalities and other organizations from across Alberta that have signed a Call to Action, which has been sent to the Government of Alberta, to voice concern over continued efforts to advance the creation of an expensive new provincial police service.
This growing group of stakeholders stands together in support of keeping the RCMP in Alberta and of investing in long-underfunded critical services within the province.
Specifically, the Call to Action recommends that taxpayer-funded resources be better allocated to 1) improve current policing services to reduce response times and address rural crime, 2) improve funding to much needed social services programs to address root causes of crime, and 3) increase supports to improve the efficacy and efficiency of the criminal justice system.
In this Call to Action, municipalities and engaged Albertans continue to call on the Government of Alberta to improve rural police response times and increase resources available to the justice system because the Province's $2 million Transition Study did not highlight how a new APPS would address any of the above issues.
The Government of Alberta has yet to release a detailed funding model that spells out who would be paying the costs of this proposed transition. For example, their Transition Study also vaguely noted that initial transition costs would total $366 million over six years, along with an additional $139 million annually, plus inflation, which has since skyrocketed.
Despite promises to the contrary, municipalities know all too well that most of these costs will be downloaded directly to them, forcing them to find the funds elsewhere – likely, through increased taxes.
A copy of the Call to Action and complete list of signatory municipalities and organizations is available here: Call to Action to the Government of Alberta
"Through this Call to Action, we want to make sure that Albertans live in safe and healthy communities that provide reliable access to critical health, social, public safety, and educational services. We echo these concerns and goals, and strongly believe that the money and time invested into pursuing an expensive and unpopular police transition would be better served by investing in the existing RCMP, the Alberta justice system, and other social, mental health, and healthcare resources."
- Brian Sauvé, President, National Police Federation
"The RCMP play an important role in an integrated team in rural communities, through comprehensive upstream prevention strategies."
- Jean Bota, President, Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association
"It is imperative that we keep the Alberta RCMP. A proposed shift to an ill-advised provincial police service will lead to devastating job losses and places the safety of Albertans on the line in the name of deficit reduction and the illusion of cost savings. Time and time again, contracting out and privatizing leads to a larger price tag for the taxpayer while at the same time they receive less."
- Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President, Prairies, Public Service Alliance of Canada
"There are many important questions that have yet to be answered. In addition, there is little mention of how to retain and equip non-uniformed employees who, in many respects, are the backbone of Alberta's public safety network. Only one thing is certain: Albertans would lose the expertise of dedicated and experienced staff who have been serving their local communities for decades. Now is not the time to gamble with the safety and security of Albertans."
- Valda Behrens, Regional Vice President, Alberta, Northwest Territories & Nunavut (RCMP-Justice-PPSC), Union of Safety and Justice Employees
The Town of Edson, like other communities across Alberta, has long received exceptional service, strong public safety performance, and extensive community engagement through the RCMP. Transitioning to a provincial police force would impose unnecessary costs and uncertainty on Albertans. These resources would be better directed towards addressing the true issues around rural crime in Alberta, by continuing to build and invest in the RCMP, social services, and the criminal justice system.
- Kevin Zahara, Mayor Town of Edson
"The dialogue around having a Provincial Police force needs to be dialed back as the people have spoken! The Alberta government needs to listen to RMA and AUMA who represent all the municipalities in Alberta, when they state, "We want to keep the RCMP BUT improve the RCMP!" Service improvements are definitely necessary within the RCMP, but the municipality of High Level does not want a municipal police force…we want the RCMP to remain."
- Crystal McAteer, Mayor, Town of High Level
"The Village of Waskatenau strongly opposes the establishment of a Provincial police force and supports the continuation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as Alberta's primary law enforcement agency; the move to a Provincial police force will result in increased costs borne by Municipalities and requiring additional taxation to our residents."
- Bernice Macyk, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Waskatenau
"The Town of Westlock does not support a transition to a new police service. There are far too many unknowns in the plan and no detail for addressing the known issues. The move will undoubtedly increase our costs and potentially deliver significantly less benefit to our community. The provincial government should invest in improving the existing RCMP model. The province could focus and invest the necessary resources in our criminal justice system for meaningful change to Alberta's prosecution and judicial systems. Our local RCMP detachment is an integral support for our community. The suggested transition to a new police service has the potential to waste Albertans' hard-earned dollars and fails to address the real concerns and issues."
- Ralph Leriger, Mayor, Town of Westlock
"Northern Sunrise County is in full support of retaining the RCMP in the Province of Alberta and in our region. The County has established a strong relationship with the local RCMP detachment and appreciates the support and services that they have provided to us over the years. The uncertainty that surrounds the proposed Alberta Provincial Police Service has caused a sense of concern for the Council, including apprehension regarding the level of service that we will receive and the funding allocation that the County may have to provide to sustain the service. We hope that the Premier and the Province listen to the municipalities that have spoken in opposition to the proposed Alberta Provincial Police Service. There are many more important areas that the Province should be focusing on in this time of rebuilding, considering what has all happened over the past few years."
- Carolyn Kolebaba, Reeve, Northern Sunrise County
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by focusing on increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
SOURCE National Police Federation
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