Red Deer County funds new RCMP officer

It is hoped new two-men RCMP investigation section can be based out of Blackfalds

Red Deer County will pay for an extra RCMP officer to tackle escalating rural property crime.

Council agreed on Tuesday to spend at least $115,000 for a general investigation section (GIS) officer, who will posted out of the 15-strong Blackfalds RCMP detachment. The money would come out of a protective services levy that county ratepayers already pay.

Blackfalds RCMP Staff Sgt. Ken Morrison told council he hopes to convince another Central Alberta municipality to make a similar commitment so a second plainclothes investigator can be added.

Morrison assured council that the new officer will not be used for general duty but will investigate rural property crimes, habitual offenders and crimes requiring lengthier investigations. The GIS officer would work with Central Alberta counterparts in Red Deer and other communities, such as Sylvan Lake, which has one GIS officer.

“I look at this as a very important first step to combat something that has been very, very high on the priorities of our residents,” said Mayor Jim Wood. It is similar to rural municipalities’ support of school resource officers.

Normally, new police officers are considered as part of the province’s policing contract with the RCMP. But new officers for Blackfalds are not in the 2017 plan

“Unfortunately, there are no anticipated positions for 2017 due to a cap on resources,” says an RCMP report on the enhanced policing proposal for council.

County director of community and protective services Ric Henderson said funding the position would make a statement to the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General about the need for police.

Wood agreed. “I do believe today by approving this we definitely make that statement.

“And we’re making that statement to our residents as well.”

Coun. Connie Huelsman likes the co-ordinated crime fighting approach proposed.

“The frustration we’re having is the robberies are taking place everywhere. They are catching the people but can’t link it all together.”

Coun. Jean Bota saw similar merit in the RCMP proposal.

“I envision this unit would work well together with them and share the intelligence that comes through the office.”

Morrison said it could take six months to a year before the new GIS officers are available.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month