Alta. may axe plan to hire more police

Alberta Solicitor General Fred Lindsay says his Conservative government’s plan to hire 100 police officers provincewide may not happen.

EDMONTON — Alberta Solicitor General Fred Lindsay says his Conservative government’s plan to hire 100 police officers provincewide may not happen.

Lindsay says “everything” is on the table as each department does its budgets.

He made his comments Sunday after a remembrance ceremony for fallen police and peace officers at the legislature grounds.

Lindsay says economic times are tough and “we do have another 100 planned, but we’ll see where the budget takes us.”

Lindsay and Premier Ed Stelmach both said the province has already funded an extra 300 officers. The premier said funding for the Safer Communities Initiative is a “top priority.”

Edmonton city councillor Tony Caterina says without money to hire more officers, it will be hard to maintain or improve police service.

Caterina says with the province cutting the number of beds at the Alberta Hospital mental health facility, that will make more work for Edmonton police officers.

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