No new police officers will be hired in Red Deer over the next couple of years — until the city annexes some land from Red Deer County.
The annexation of 216 hectares north of Queen’s Industrial Park and West of Hwy 2 is expected to become official in September, 2023, said Red Deer’s City Manager Tara Lodewyk. It’s being done to address the city’s deficiency in highway fronting commercial land.
When this land officially becomes part of the City of Red Deer, the municipality will provide utilities and other services, including policing.
Lodewyk said two additional RCMP officers and one extra community peace officer and a support staffer will be provided, as part of the city’s annexation budget.
The City of Red Deer is waiting to hear final numbers on a settlement between the Government of Canada and the policing union, which will include retroactive pay. The federal government has not yet stated whether it will help foot the retro-pay bill.
There are currently about 160 RCMP officers working in Red Deer. The proposed city multi-year budget includes an increase of $789,000 for 2023 and $1.04 million for 2024 to pay for a 3.5 per cent wage increase for these existing uniformed staff in each of the next two years.