City council wants efficiency review to assist police

Identifying opportunities for improvement

City council is calling for a review to improve data entry efficiencies and support information sharing among police services in Canada.

On Monday council unanimously supported a notice of motion brought forward by Coun. Buck Buchanan requesting that the Federation of Canadian Municipalities advocate to the RCMP and the Ministry of Public Safety Canada to undertake a process and efficiency audit.

The RCMP’s K Division was also encouraged to work to improve data entry and information sharing among municipal police services and RCMP in Alberta.

The motion identified the need for a review due to escalating police costs across the country, increasing tasks associated with police work, and continual refinements to law as a result of judicial decisions, new legislation and government policy.

The motion said the lack of consistent methodology creates issues in cross-jurisdictional policing and information sharing, and that every hour spent on procedural steps, like data entry for a case, is time not spent providing active police services.

Buchanan said he’s heard that local officers spend 20 to 70 per cent of their time involved in data entry.

“This is where a lot of our members are spending a lot of their time and it’s not necessarily in court preparations,” Buchanan said.

“This is where a lot of money is being spent, a lot of resources, and is it the best way to spend money,” Buchanan said.

Coun. Ken Johnston said it’s a multi-prong problem, but the cost of policing is becoming unsustainable.

“Would we rather have (police) in your neighbourhood or in a cubical. I would rather have them in my neighbourhood,” Johnston said.

Coun. Paul Harris said crime prevention is a focus for Red Deer and every effort has to be made to allow local RCMP to be available for community policing which includes crime prevention.

szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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