Pilot projects to improve communication links between RCMP and community peace officers underway

Pilot projects to improve communication links between RCMP and community peace officers underway

Communciations gaps have been raised as safety concern by rural municipalities

Alberta’s RCMP is undertaking a pilot project to improve communications with community peace officers after safety concerns were raised by rural municipalities.

Foothills County voted to send a resolution to Rural Municipalities of Alberta highlighting what they see as an unsafe communications gap between Mounties and peace officers.

The resolution, which was seconded by Lacombe County last week, highlights several incidents where peace officers were unwittingly involved in potentially dangerous situations because they could not monitor RCMP encrypted radio calls.

An Oct. 10 Alberta Justice bulletin says the RCMP is aware of concerns and will be running a six-month pilot project at two sites.

Unsafe communications gap for community peace officers

At the conclusion of the pilot projects, consideration will be given to expanding access to peace officers, on a case-by-case basis, “taking into consideration structure and logistical challenges at each detachment,” says the bulletin issued by Tammy Spink, manager of the province’s peace officer program.

“Strict control over the access to radio communications that involve the RCMP is the essential criteria in the assessment process.”

Spink cautions that not all authorized employers and their community peace officers may have access to the RCMP’s encrypted communication system when the review has been completed.

“However, all potential avenues to have direct communication with the RCMP will be explored and communicated.”

Dave Brand, Red Deer County’s director of community and protective services, supports the RCMP’s pilot project, which will be similar to an initiative the county is undertaking along with the City of Lacombe, Lacombe Police Service and Lacombe County.

They are rolling out their own pilot project that will set aside a single radio channel where all four Lacombe police officers and the three municipalities can communicate with each other.

“What that does is that provides a consistent, single source of information and monitoring and radio contact, where we’re all on a shared radio channel,” said Brand.

“We’re looking at those challenges of how do we all communicate with each other? How do we ensure officer safety, and how do we ensure we know where officers are all the time?”

Another advantage of the collaboration is that peace officers will be able to get more information through the Canadian Police Information Centre. As an accredited police agency, Lacombe Police Service has access to more information through the centre that can now be shared with the other pilot project partners.

One of the incidents Foothills County pointed to was a car jacking at gunpoint that followed a collision with a school bus near Red Deer Regional Airport in January.

The backgrounder suggests the county’s community peace officers were left in the dark that a gunman was involved. However, Brand said the local detachment phoned the county to alert them to the dangerous situation.

“Our relationships with our local detachments are great,” he said. “If there is something major, they’re really, really good about trying to keep us in the loop. Of course, understanding the pace at which an incident unfolds.”

Brand said he also fully understands and respects why the RCMP want to ensure sensitive information is protected.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Red Deer respiratory therapist Sarah MacKenzie was among the first central Alberta health professionals to receive the Pfizer vaccine in December 2020. Since then, nearly 3.4 million doses have been administered and COVID cases are falling rapidly. Photo by Alberta Health Services
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall sharply

Red Deer cases almost into the double digits after topping more than 900 only five weeks ago

(Advocate file photo.)
Red Deer city council discusses strategies to restore integrated emergency dispatching

Red Deer city councillors discussed additional ways on Tuesday to try to… Continue reading

Local developers who are doing building upgrades or new construction will face less land servicing costs and gain some flexibility. (File photo by Advocate staff)
From left: Montana First Nation councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation councillor Shannon Buffalo and Samson Cree Nation chief Vern Saddleback were present during the painting of the Maskwacis Pride crosswalk. (Contributed photo)
Being gay made him contemplate suicide: Councillor in Maskwacis opens up

Maskwacis got a bit mote colourful over the weekend. Volunteers spent Saturday… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) celebrates with defenseman Victor Hedman (77) after Rutta scored against the New York Islanders during the third period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Kucherov shines, Lightning beat Islanders 4-2 in Game 2

Lightning 4 Islanders 2 (Series tied 2-2) TAMPA, Fla. — Brayden Point… Continue reading

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots as Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton (24) defends during the fourth quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Durant’s sensational performance sends Nets to 3-2 lead

Nets 114 Bucks 108 (Brooklyn leads series 3-2) NEW YORK (AP) —… Continue reading

New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Frazier snaps tie, Yankees come back to beat Blue Jays 6-5

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Clint Frazier snapped an eighth-inning tie with a pinch-hit… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. Pornhub says it has removed all content uploaded by non-verified users. The sex website faced accusations it hosted illegal content. The company, which is owned by Montreal-based Mindgeek, says it has suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by one of its content partners or members of its Model Program. THE CANADIAN PRESS
International women’s rights advocates call on Canada to hold Pornhub to account

Jeanette Westbrook says being sexually abused as a child will haunt her… Continue reading

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2021 file photo, transporters Miguel Lopez, right, Noe Meza prepare to move a body of a COVID-19 victim to a morgue at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has topped 600,000, even as the vaccination drive has drastically slashed daily cases and deaths and allowed the country to emerge from the gloom. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
US COVID-19 deaths hit 600,000, equal to yearly cancer toll

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 600,000 on Tuesday, even as… Continue reading

FILE - In this April 1, 2019 file photo, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry talks about health care legislation he's backing in the upcoming session, in Baton Rouge, La. The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water was blocked Tuesday by a federal judge in Louisiana. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty's ruling came in a lawsuit filed in March by Louisiana’s Republican attorney general, Jeff Landry and officials in 12 other states. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)
Federal judge blocks Biden’s pause on new oil, gas leases

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and… Continue reading

Israeli police officers detain a Palestinian man during clashes that erupted ahead of a planned march by Jewish ultranationalists through east Jerusalem, outside Jerusalem's Old City, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Israelis march in east Jerusalem in test for new government

JERUSALEM (AP) — Hundreds of Israeli ultranationalists, some chanting “Death to Arabs,”… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) vies for the puck with Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (7) during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Vets Pietrangelo, Perry contributing for Vegas, Montreal

LAS VEGAS — Alex Pietrangelo and Corey Perry had very different free… Continue reading

Most Read