City to set benchmarks for RCMP performance

Red Deer RCMP welcome city council’s desire to set specific benchmarks on police performance.

Red Deer RCMP welcome city council’s desire to set specific benchmarks on police performance.

Council approved a 20-year municipal policing agreement earlier this week after the province worked with the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association to achieve the provincewide deal with the federal government.

Part of that contract will allow for greater autonomy within the municipality — including setting benchmarks on how police respond to criminal and non-criminal matters.

RCMP Insp. Warren Dosko said he’s excited about talking more with Mayor Morris Flewwelling and the rest of council and administration about police service levels.

“I think that process is going to be extremely healthy for the community and extremely healthy for safety,” said Dosko on Wednesday.

“Any time you set standards for any kind of work you are doing, it gives the ability to evaluate what you are doing.”

He said the RCMP have some traditional benchmarks they follow.

For example, they prioritize calls from the public on three levels, with Priority 1 being the most important. Priority 1 calls include domestic abuse complaints, for example.

One thing the city could do is set different standards around priority calls and measure those according to response times, Dosko said.

The police also traditionally look at clearance rates when it comes to successfully resolving cases.

Dosko said the city may want to set specific benchmarks around the city’s crime rate or the crime severity index, which gives serious crime a higher weight than less serious crime. As a result, changes in more serious crimes would have a greater impact on the index than on the traditional crime rate.

“So there’s a significant number of indicators out there that measure crime or the perception of safety in the community,” said Dosko.

“I think it’s important work,” he said.

Coun. Tara Veer said citizens were keen during a recent policing review to find out if the RCMP only respond to Ottawa’s priorities. The new contract includes the ability for municipalities to have influence over the RCMP, she said.

Veer said council can now help to establish local priorities for enforcement, such as what police should do regarding drug enforcement.

Plus, council will have the ability to set benchmarks regarding police service levels, she added.

Veer said she believes benchmarks should be set around response times, clearance rates, ratio of case loads per officer, and targets around crime rates and the crime severity index.

Council has been working on the city’s safety charter, a major work plan that will implement recommendations from last year’s extensive policing study. The charter will help with the creation of local priorities and benchmarks, Veer added.

She expects this work will take about a year to accomplish.

“I think it’s very reasonable to establish service levels and I think our community is looking for us to do that,” said Veer.

Just Posted

Red Deer wants no repeat of Calgary Stampede deaths

North American Pony Chuckwagon Championship

Central Alberta firefighters’ wildfire expertise recognized

Clearwater County Regional Fire Services chosen to create crack firefighting unit

Amazon Prime Day kind of ho hum for local retailers

E-commerce giant Prime Day sale runs Monday and Tuesday

Innisfail woman facing fraud charges

RCMP allege woman stole more than $54,000

Visitors flock to Bluebird Festival

Annual festival takes place east of Blackfalds

Chavis’ grand slam helps Red Sox beat Blue Jays 10-8

BOSTON — Rookie Michael Chavis hit a grand slam, Xander Bogaerts had… Continue reading

Group wants charges in horse deaths during Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races

CALGARY — An animal welfare group is renewing its call for cruelty… Continue reading

Cannabis producer Organigram Holdings Inc. reports $10.2M third-quarter loss

Organigram Holdings Inc. reported a third-quarter loss as revenue slipped amid lower… Continue reading

Churches jump into action with threat of immigration sweeps

CHICAGO — As a nationwide immigration crackdown loomed, religious leaders across the… Continue reading

Some in GOP rebuke Trump, but party leaders still silent

WASHINGTON — Top Republicans remained largely silent after President Donald Trump said… Continue reading

You don’t feel alientated, Trudeau tells western Canadians

National unity is not being threatened by the federal government’s attack on… Continue reading

Final blast of torrential rains unleashed by weakened Barry

NEW ORLEANS — Tropical Depression Barry spared New Orleans from catastrophic flooding,… Continue reading

Evidence erased by police would have freed wrongfully convicted man: defence lawyer

HALIFAX — A defence lawyer who fought to free Glen Assoun from… Continue reading

Most Read