The Facts

The Alberta RCMP are highly trained and specialized.

How RCMP Municipal Contract Policing Works

All municipalities with a population over 5,000 people must provide policing services for their communities. There are a number of ways to fulfil this requirement, including by entering into a contract with the RCMP to serve as a municipal police service. This contract is called a Municipal Policing Services Agreement, or MPSA.

Municipalities under 15,000 people who enter into an MPSA with the RCMP, have a cost share agreement where the federal government contributes 30% of the policing costs in the municipality. In municipalities over 15,000 people, the cost share becomes 10% of the policing costs, representing millions of dollars in costs picked up by the federal government – each and every year.

The MPSA also outlines the scope of the police service, its level of service, the number of officers in the community, and more.

RCMP municipal police services are headed by the “Member in Charge” who is appointed by the Alberta RCMP Commanding Officer in consultation with the municipalities Chief Executive Officer (e.g., a Mayor, Reeve, or elected head of the municipality).

This Member in Charge works under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer of the municipality, who sets the objectives, priorities and goals of the municipal RCMP police service.

How Provincial Policing in Alberta Works

The Alberta RCMP is headed by a Commanding Officer, appointed by the RCMP’s Commissioner. The Commanding Officer works under the direction of the Alberta Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, who sets the provincial police service's objectives, priorities and goals.

Each year, the Commanding Officer of the Alberta RCMP develops a Joint Business Plan with the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General to outline their policing priorities. Currently, these five priorities are:

  • Crime Reduction
  • Indigenous Communities
  • Road Safety
  • Community Engagement and Safety
  • Terrorism Awareness and Prevention
Learn more about how the province should fund their Alberta RCMP

RCMP Training

RCMP training standards are recognized as some of the best in the world. While all RCMP training is initially completed at Depot in Regina, SK, RCMP officers undergo ongoing regular training. They are also invested in learning about their communities through local community outreach and engagement programs.

This allows Albertans to benefit from the highest standard in training while Members adapt to local priorities and practices. This high level of initial training, followed by years of on the job experience in their communities ensures RCMP Members are prepared for every policing scenario – from General Duty to covert, specialized and intelligence functions, such as:

  • Special investigations
  • Undercover operations
  • Technological Crimes
  • Air Services
  • Witness protection
  • Division criminal analysis

Equitable Funding for Municipal Services

Communities served by the RCMP currently benefit from cost-sharing between the municipality or the province and the federal government, ranging from 70/30 to 90/10 per cent. Without a fulsome account of all costs and risks posed by making police service transitions, residents of these communities will be burdened with financial impacts from these decisions for years to come, which may include significant increases to taxes or cutbacks to other municipal services to account for the difference.

If a municipality wants to change their police service, they should conduct a feasibility study that accounts for all potential costs and impacts. Taxpayers should have all the details to make a decision and if a decision to change a police service happens, the municipality should pay for it themselves and avoid impacting all provincial taxpayers through provincial subsidies as in Grande Prairie, where the Province has promised $9.7M to assist in the transition with potentially more in the future should they need it.

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