Olympic duty causing court delays

Central Alberta RCMP officers assigned to Vancouver Olympic security are steadily adding to delays in an already clogged Red Deer court system.

Central Alberta RCMP officers assigned to Vancouver Olympic security are steadily adding to delays in an already clogged Red Deer court system.

Scores of officers will be away for almost three months starting in January while they provide security for the Winter Olympics and the Paralympics, which follow the regular Games. Officers will also be required to attend training sessions before the Games.

Their departure has resulted in the loss of numerous trial dates that could have been scheduled in that period.

Court daily hears that trials can’t be scheduled in that time because the officers won’t be available.

Instead, the trials where the officers are scheduled as witnesses are now being set into the late summer.

RCMP officials said earlier the exact number of officers leaving their Central Alberta posts won’t be released for security purposes.

However, the officials have said those positions would be filled by other police agencies including Alberta Sheriffs and other regular RCMP officers not being allowed to take leave during that period.

It routinely takes eight or nine months to get a trial date set in provincial court. That was partly because of a shortage of provincial court judges in Red Deer through a few opting to work part-time.

However, that has been addressed in the last few months with the appointment of two new judges for the Red Deer district.

Defence lawyer Patty MacNaughton, who handles numerous clients requiring trials, said on Wednesday that the delays have serious implications for people in custody.

“It can be a real problem for those people in custody and some of them aren’t releasable” (before they have a trial), she said.

Virtually every lawyer who requires a Mountie as a witness for testimony is in the same boat.

Contact Jack Wilson at jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Rural transit service rolled out

2A South Regional Transit will link Innisfail and Penhold with Red Deer

Some Red Deer waste collection schedules change due to holiday season

Tuesday collections will be moved for two weeks

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional… Continue reading

Red Deer Airport’s prospects are looking up for 2019

Ultra-low-cost passenger service is on the horizon

Funding down for Red Deer Christmas charities

Food hampers and toys for children going out to those in need

Alberta’s Sundial starts shipping to AGLC this week

Sundial’s Rocky View facility has received the green light from Health Canada… Continue reading

Penny Marshall dead at 75, best known as TV’s Laverne and director of ‘Big,’ ‘A League of Their Own’

Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ’70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley”… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Most Read