Red Deer RCMP not short of staff

Red Deer city and rural RCMP detachments say they have a strong contingent of Mounties patrolling streets and don’t have a problem with staffing shortages.

Red Deer city and rural RCMP detachments say they have a strong contingent of Mounties patrolling streets and don’t have a problem with staffing shortages.

A report in the Victoria Times Colonist last week reported that one in 10 Mountie positions in B.C. sits empty, according to an investigation by the newspaper in February.

The Red Deer rural RCMP detachment in Blackfalds isn’t reporting staffing shortages. It has 18 RCMP members.

Sgt. James Derouin said there’s always a time when, for a few months, there’s a shortage because of transfers.

“As a general rule, we don’t run vacant positions here,” Derouin said.

He figures there are staffing shortages in British Columbia because it has some significantly larger detachments than in Alberta.

Red Deer city RCMP Insp. Warren Dosko said staffing shortages aren’t being experienced at the detachment and in fact, recently the detachment found itself with more people than positions.

“We were actually overstaffed for a little bit,” said Dosko.

The RCMP seek positions through a formal process with the federal government so that those applications get filled.

Dosko said some of these positions may sit vacant for a little while as the officers get transferred out of the city.

Dosko, who became head of the detachment in December, has been working on a model to keep staffing levels up and prevent long-term vacancies.

“We’ve got a tool in place and a strategy where we work with the staffing people to get our positions all filled,” he said.

The 20-year RCMP contract recently reached between Ottawa and the province ensures that municipalities aren’t billed for a position in which a person is off for more than 30 days, Dosko added. The RCMP bills the city for 131 officer positions.

“Sometimes we have a little more or less, but our target is trying to bill for 131 positions,” said Dosko.

According to the 2011 Vital Signs community report on Red Deer, there are 28 per cent fewer police officers than the national average and 17.5 per cent less than the provincial average.

Dosko said this is just one indicator on policing levels.

Red Deer city Coun. Chris Stephan has long questioned whether the RCMP have enough officers on the streets and in his view, they don’t.

A Maclean’s magazine issue in December ranked Red Deer as the fourth most dangerous city in its national crime ranking report.

“Our police per population is way down and we’re one of the most dangerous cities in Canada, regardless whether people want to accept that or not,” Stephan said. “We need the manpower to deal with that.”

Stephan also said that Red Deer appears to be training ground for officers coming out of depot, when really Red Deer needs more experienced officers.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

Dharmesh Goradia, and his daughter Vidhi and wife Chaitali, at the 2017 festival for the Godess Durga, held at the Golden Circle. (Photo contributed)
Draft curriculum misses the mark for central Alberta Hindu society

Meeting scheduled with Alberta Education officials

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Air Canada says it will recall more than 2,600 employees who were furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta’s tourism sector hurt by COVID-19 pandemic: ATB Financial

Between border closures, public health measures and hesitancy to travel, Alberta’s tourism… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A man wears a face mask as he walks by a sign for a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, May 16, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canada paid a premium to get doses from Pfizer earlier than planned

OTTAWA — Canada paid a premium to get more than 250,000 doses… Continue reading

The Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., is shown in this 1930 handout photo. HO — Deschatelets-NDC Archives
Calls grow for Ottawa to review settlement decisions for residential school survivors

Lawyer Teri Lynn Bougie still cries when she talks about the final… Continue reading

Syringes are readied at a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, Friday, April 30, 2021 in Montreal. Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for Canada to donate some of its doses to other countries or international aid organizations and in at least three cases, for the doses to be resold.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada’s vaccine contracts allow for doses to be donated, in some cases resold

OTTAWA — Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for… Continue reading

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, responds to the report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in Vancouver, on Monday June 3, 2019. As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Two sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

VANCOUVER — As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after… Continue reading

A woman sits and weeps at the scene of Sunday's hate-motivated vehicle attack in London, Ont. on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Four members of a family in London, Ont., are set to be buried today. The public has been invited to help celebrate the lives of Talat Afzaal, 74, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins
Funeral to be held today for London family killed in attack

LONDON, Ont. — Four members of a Muslim family killed in what… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden listen to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliver opening remarks at a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, United Kingdom Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau to discuss foreign policy with G7 leaders at second day of summit meeting

CARBIS BAY, CORNWALL, ENGLAND — Foreign policy is on the agenda for… Continue reading

Most Read