The Province of Alberta is looking at options to improve Alberta’s place in Canada as part of a “Fair Deal Panel Review.” The panel’s recommendations include replacing the RCMP with an expensive new Provincial Police Service.
1. Paying More for Less
The Government of Alberta (GoA) is proposing to replace the Alberta RCMP with a smaller Alberta Provincial Police Service (APPS) which would cost Albertans hundreds of millions more for far fewer fully-trained police officers.
- The federal government pays 30% of Alberta’s RCMP policing costs – that’s ~$185 million annually. If Alberta were to replace the RCMP, Alberta taxpayers and local communities would be on the hook for the full cost of provincial policing, plus transition costs that are currently estimated to be ~$366 million. Based on actual costs in other jurisdictions, this could double, triple, or worse.
- When you need the police, which would you rather have: 3,097 fully trained RCMP Members or 1,613 fully trained APPS officers to respond to high-risk, complex, urgent calls for service?
2. Risks to Community Safety
A transition creates real risks to ongoing policing improvements, including proven-successful crime reduction strategies in rural and remote communities.
- Rural policing is complex and quickly evolving requiring officers to be fully trained for any possible event or issue in large areas with few neighbours and back-up.
- The Alberta RCMP dedicated 30 officers and 40 civilians to a Crime Reduction Strategy, which has led to a successful 10% decrease in crime rates for rural detachments and 6% for municipal detachments so far. An expensive, smaller, and disruptive new police force would put this progress at risk.
- From 2017 to 2018, public requests for police assistance in both emergency and non-urgent matters in Alberta have risen 24%.
3. Albertans Support the RCMP
A recent online survey conducted by Pollara from October 27 to November 4, 2021, shows that Albertans support the Alberta RCMP and do not support this expensive proposal:
- 84% want to keep the RCMP and only 9% of Albertans support this proposed transition
- 92% want a detailed accounting of the full costs of transition before any decision is made
- 80% of Albertans served by the RCMP are consistently satisfied with the Alberta RCMP (Reference only: 85% in rural north communities - 81% in rural central communities - 71% in rural south communities)