Starting a municipal police force would cost taxpayers more, but give City of Red Deer more control

Starting a municipal police force would cost taxpayers more, but give City of Red Deer more control

Results of a policing review were presented to city council on Tuesday

Replacing the RCMP with a municipal police force would cost Red Deer taxpayers up to $13.5 million and take two to four years, according to a policing review presented Tuesday.

This hefty cost is attributed to having to buy a fleet of municipal police vehicles and equipment, setting up a municipal dispatch system, and losing out on some economies of scale in current RCMP purchasing.

A comparison of different policing models was prepared by KPMG consulting and presented at a special city council meeting.

The $200,000 review found that annual police operating costs would also be higher if council chose to replace the RCMP with a municipal police force.

The projected estimate was $50 million in 2023, compared to $43.7 million for the RCMP. One reason would be the loss of a 10 per cent subsidy, said consultant Tim Swanson.

There were advantages found for making the change, which would necessitate the city creating a new arms’-length policing commission: The city would have full ability to determine how police services are deployed, and could set and manage service levels and accountability standards better than with the RCMP, which also answers to K-Division in Edmonton.

Councillor wants to start a ‘hybrid’ police force

However, council was told the RCMP now has timely access to specialized units, training and other resources at no incremental cost, and there’s a seamless sharing of services and assets as part of a national police force.

When it comes to the city’s existing police service, the review found RCMP costs were in line with average policing costs for 11 comparison municipalities — even though this city has the highest crime index.

City council heard that Red Deer‘s 2018 per capita police cost of $380 was well below that of Grande Prairie, Calgary and Edmonton, which respectively pay $429, $411 and $489 per capita for their municipal forces.

Lethbridge’s municipal force costs slightly less at $374 per capita. The average was $389.

Red Deer‘s RCMP detachment has higher caseloads per employee and the lowest ratio of civilian staffers among the 11 cities studied, which also includes Medicine Hat, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Strathcona County, Halifax and the B.C. cities of Surrey, Richmond and Langley.

However, while there was a positive police “clearance rate“ on violent crimes, there was less resolution on petty crimes due to drug use and social disorder.

Council was told the city is heading in the right direction by trying to focus on reducing the root causes of these offences, which can’t just be solved solely by enforcement.

Consultant Sean Sparling praised the Red Deer RCMP’s high public satisfaction rating and success with its Pinpoint program, which tracks the movements of known prolific criminals to explore potential links with new crime hot spots.

But he found some areas in need of improvement. For instance, he said other jurisdictions are already using privatized companies to deal with collision reporting and criminal record checks to free up more police officers to focus on more serious cases.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Red Deer City Council

Just Posted

Rotary Club of Red Deer logo.
Red Deer Rotary Club hosting tree planting event later this month

The Rotary Club of Red Deer will host a tree-planting event later… Continue reading

New admissions have been suspended for Engineering Technology diplomas (Instrumentation, Electrical and Mechanical) and the Transitional Vocational Program at Red Deer College. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Developmentally disabled impacted: Red Deer College suspends program

Transitional Vocational Program comes to an end

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is asking Albertans to do their part by observing gathering limits, staying home if unwell, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three new Central zone COVID-19 deaths, Alberta adds 1,433 cases

Red Deer down to 802 active cases of COVID-19

NDP education critic Sarah Hoffman holds up freedom of information requests that turned up no records. The Opposition requested back-to-school re-entry plan correspondence between Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and school boards, teachers and the media. Photo via Facebook live
NDP renews calls for Alberta gov’t to scrap K-6 draft curriculum

The NDP is once again calling on the Alberta Government to get… Continue reading

Earlier this week Alberta Health Services warned that Rocky Mountain House Health Centre emergency department would be temporarily without physician coverage from May 12, at 6 p.m., to May 13, at 7 a.m. (Photo contributed by the Town of Rocky Mountain House)
Doctors needed in Rocky Mountain House

Emergency department temporarily closed due to doctor shortage

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Insert your name here

Back in the Paleolithic Era when a McDonald’s cheeseburger was 29 cents… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
Job search: Write a request that will get accepted

Last Thursday, when I logged into LinkedIn, I had nine connection requests… Continue reading

T-shirt with vaccine shot. (Contributed photo)
Letter: Hand out T-shirts with vaccine shots

I made myself a graphic T-shirt recently after getting my vaccine shot.… Continue reading

Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Connor (81) scores on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) as TJ Brodie (78) defends during second-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Friday, May 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Connor scores twice, Jets beat Leafs in regular-season finale

Connor scores twice, Jets beat Leafs in regular-season finale

Atletico Ottawa defender Vashon Neufville controls the ball during Atletico Ottawa’s first team practice of their inaugural season in the Canadian Premier League in Ottawa, Wednesday June 3, 2020. The Canadian Premier League plans to kick off its third season mid-June to early July in one location without fans. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Wattie
Canadian Premier League delays kickoff again, looks to mid-June to early July start

Canadian Premier League delays kickoff again, looks to mid-June to early July start

Calgary’s Stephen Ames shoots 66 to take Mitsubishi Electric lead

Calgary’s Stephen Ames shoots 66 to take Mitsubishi Electric lead

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) deflects a shot against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
NHL postseason: Who’s hot as the playoffs arrive?

NHL postseason: Who’s hot as the playoffs arrive?

Ottawa Senators' Connor Brown, right, celebrates a goal with teammates during third period NHL action against the Montreal Canadiens, in Ottawa, Wednesday, March 5, 2021. Brown will lead a young Canadian squad into the world hockey championship in Riga, Latvia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ottawa forward Connor Brown leads Canada’s roster at world championship

Ottawa forward Connor Brown leads Canada’s roster at world championship

Most Read