One in four of Alberta’s 2,400 Mounties will work Olympics in Vancouver

More than 20 officers from Red city RCMP detachment will head to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics for security and other duties, says Supt. Brian Simpson.

More than 20 officers from Red city RCMP detachment will head to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics for security and other duties, says Supt. Brian Simpson.

Simpson said on Wednesday that between 20 and 30 Mounties are slated to work at the Winter Olympics, which will take place Feb. 12-28.

The final list must still be determined, he said.

The vast majority of those will be doing security and will arrive just before opening ceremonies and stay until closing ceremonies are done.

And although more than two dozen will be out of town, Simpson said people should notice little impact with policing.

“All leave and training has been cancelled during that period,” he said. “On any given week, we have leave and training. There’s always members away.”

The detachment currently runs with about 127 Mounties.

Earlier this week, Alberta’s K-Division headquarters announced that 600 RCMP from around Alberta — or at least 25 per cent of the province’s Mounties — would be working the world’s prestigious sporting event.

The Red Deer contingent will see their wages paid by the Olympics budget.

“There will be actual savings to the city (of Red Deer),” Simpson said.

Simpson is also playing a key part in the Olympics as a member of the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit. While’s he away, Insp. Ray Noble will take over the detachment duties.

Noble just started work in Red Deer a week ago.

Simpson said Noble is replacing Insp. George Stephenson who will be leaving for the superintendent’s job in Grande Prairie.

Simpson also said a list is being prepared to give to Alberta Justice on which officers will be unable to attend court as witnesses.

Both Crown and defence lawyers in a number of communities across Alberta are anticipating trial delays because of the number of police officers who will be away.

“There will be a noticeable slowdown but it won’t grind to a halt,” said Red Deer’s Chief Crown prosecutor Anders Quist. “A lot of matters don’t require police witnesses and not all police officers will be going (to the Olympics).”

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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