Red Deer RCMP are preparing to re-deploy some officers, if needed, to deal with rising absentee rates.
So far, five officers and one municipal policing staff member are off with COVID-19. This amounts to about two per cent of the total police force of 174 officers.
A police spokesperson said on Tuesday that absentee-ism is not impacting service delivery as the current rate falls within the usual number of staff who are off for illness, injuries, training or personal leaves.
But going forward, Red Deer RCMP has put contingency plans in place to ensure that staffing levels do not not impact local police response.
Twenty members from other units have been identified to support the police watches, as needed.
That means members from the General Investigation Section, Community Policing, the Crime Reduction Unit and others will have their shifts altered to align with the watch shifts to provide greater coverage, if required.
“We encourage the public to use the online crime reporting tool (https://ocre-sielc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/alberta/en) or phone the non-emergency line to make reports, as appropriate.”