Paul Goranson, the City of Red Deer’s protective services director. (Contributed photo).

Red Deer secures seat on crime-fighting committee

Paul Goranson hopes to provide input that will improve public safety

The City of Red Deer is gaining a greater voice on a provincial organization that’s cracking down on drug trafficking, gang activity and child exploitation in Alberta.

Paul Goranson, director of protective services for the city, has been appointed to the civilian advisory committee for the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team, known as ALERT.

He will be one of nine members from across the province who will meet quarterly to provide stakeholder feedback to the organization. The agency brings together Alberta’s policing resources to crack down on high-priority crimes.

Since community safety is a top public concern in Red Deer, Goranson said his appointment will allow the city to work through a different channel to reduce crime.

Among the policing costs carried by Red Deer taxpayers are the salaries of officers — including six who are members of ALERT — said Goranson, who is in charge of local policing, as well as security and the emergency and fire crews.

An additional six Red Deer RCMP officers are financed through ALERT’s funding sources.

Altogether, it’s a significant investment, added Goranson, who believes his spot on the board will strengthen the existing partnership between the city and the crime-reduction organization.

He believes ALERT’s mandate — having RCMP and municipal police forces work together to root out higher-level crime — is worthwhile and effective. He noted it’s led to recent local arrests in connection to criminal gang activity.

Goranson hopes to learn more about high-level crime in the area by sitting on the ALERT board. He also expects to bring various public concerns, as expressed to Red Deer city council, to ALERT’s attention.

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