Dear friends and neighbours:
I’d like to take the opportunity to share with the community the good news around combating rural crime in the Camrose constituency.
Just recently I was informed by my colleague Justice Minister and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer that Alberta would be getting its first round of newly funded police officers and civilian support positions.
In the Central Alberta District, ten new officers will be arriving in the region as part of this first wave. These new positions will serve the areas of, Camrose, Blackfalds, Leduc, Morinville, Parkland, Rocky Mountain House, Stettler, Strathcona and Thorsby.
This is fantastic news for the community as I’ve heard your concerns on the ground that we need more officers in our community to proactively combat rural crime. The stories I’ve heard throughout the constituency have been eye-opening. I have heard about the havoc that rural crime has had on our community, our mental health, and how many of us don’t feel safe in our own homes. The overwhelming feedback I have heard is it takes too long for the police to respond to emergency situations and even too long to respond to simple break-and-enters. We have been listening to you. And we are acting. Rural Albertans has asked for action against rising crime, and we responded with Alberta’s largest single investment in policing since the RCMP’s March West. Putting more boots on the ground in rural Alberta will help protect residents and ensure they feel safe in their communities.
Alberta’s new police funding model has given the Alberta RCMP 76 new police officers and 57 new civilian support positions for the 2020/2021 year, with half announced last week. These additional resources will directly or indirectly support frontline policing in communities they serve across rural Alberta.
This is part of the historic investment in rural policing we announced back in December of 2019, which will increase the “boots on the ground” officers from under 1,600 to almost 1,900. It will also add an additional 200 civilian support staff for complex investigations and ensure that our officers aren’t caught having to do as much paperwork but are in our communities where we need them. The Government of Alberta’s new police funding model will inject more than $286 million into this initiative.
The placement of new officers is based on an analysis of factors such as travel time, call volume, the type of crimes occurring in the area, amount of time required for investigations, size of detachment, and time available for proactive policing, which includes strategic patrols, community engagement, visiting schools, and attending community events. We have also established Alberta Police Advisory Boards for each of the four policing districts so local RMA and AUMA representatives can work with the RCMP and government on priorities to best meet the needs of our communities.
We know that targeting and reducing rural crime goes hand-in-hand with sufficient resources as demonstrated by boots on the ground. The benefit of additional RCMP resources will be felt in communities across Alberta.
Shifting gears, I want to let you know about Alberta’s Recovery Plan.
We put together a bold plan to get Albertans back to work, by pumping $10 billion dollars into the economy to create 50,000 jobs.
We also jumped a year and half ahead of schedule by dropping Alberta’s corporate tax rate to 8 per cent, now one of the most competitive rates in North America. We hope with these initiatives, we can attract more private investment into our economy to create more jobs throughout the province.
Albertans are facing one of the most challenging times in our history and this is why I’m proud to be part of a team that is recognizing that we need to invest today, so we can be successful tomorrow.
MLA Jackie Lovely Camrose.