Lacombe County Council is a step closer to funding a plainclothes officer for Blackfalds RCMP.
On Thursday council approved a memorandum of understanding with the detachment for the officer who will belong to the General Investigation Section (GIS) unit and will investigate serious crime and the increasing property thefts in rural areas.
The three-year agreement will cost the county $462,000 and money will be set aside in the county’s next budget.
The officer will join another GIS officer at Blackfalds to be funded by Red Deer County.
“We’ve seen certainly in the last four or five years a huge increase in crime in the rural areas. A lot of this is property theft. Our residents have expressed their concerns over this on numerous occasions to council and to the RCMP,” said Keith Boras, manager of environmental and protective services with Lacombe County.
On Friday Boras sent a letter to Alberta Justice and the Solicitor Generals who will make a request to the RCMP division for the officer and will recruit to fill the position.
The county anticipates the officer will be hired early next year, or at least by spring, he said.
“It’s a good step for Lacombe County. We’ve certainly had the requests from our residents to take a more active role. It’s one of the ways we can participate in more active crime prevention.”
Council will get annual updates on the GIS unit which will work with all the RCMP detachments that serve the county. More frequent updates may be requested.
“Sometime before it expires we will do a whole review of the program. At that time council of the day will decide whether they want to continue with the program,” Boras said.