Police service levels to be examined in Red Deer

Council to discuss matter at upcoming workshop

  • Jan. 11, 2017 6:23 p.m.

The question of whether the City should look into a hybrid police model turned into a conversation about setting service levels during Monday night’s council meeting.

Councillor Dianne Wyntjes had previously submitted a Notice of Motion asking council to direct administration to explore a model where Red Deer would be served by both municipal police and RCMP. That motion was defeated. Instead, council voted to discuss four items in a workshop which includes updating police priorities, options to improve service levels for Priority 3 and 4 calls, public engagement on crime and safety, in addition to examining alternative police models.

The latter motion was made by Councillor Lynne Mulder, who said models matter, but they’re not the only consideration in addressing crime and public safety.

“We’re looking at a model before looking at service levels. I can’t see that that is the right way to go. I’m not opposed to models. I like models. I’d like us to innovative. I’d like us to be bold but I think we have to do it in sequence,” Mulder said.

Citizen surveys suggest that crime is a top priority for the public. Mayor Tara Veer agreed that a broader conversation is needed. “We needed a more comprehensive solution than giving direction on the model exclusively. The model will be a part of our upcoming discussions and (will be) a very important part of our discussions but there will be other aspects that will be included as well,” Veer said.

In particular, Mulder wants to see greater responsiveness to Priority 3 and 4 calls, which respectively, do not require immediate police assistance and are for information purposes only. Mulder gave the example of a theft that’s occurred. She said citizens are telling her that people want somebody to take their reports.

“If somebody came to my house and took my story down, I’d be much happier about that and I’d feel like I’d been heard and that it was followed up,” she said.

Wyntjes supported Mulder’s motion, saying she looked forward to the discussion. But she pointed out that improving service levels for Priority 3 and 4 calls will take a different approach.

“My colleagues, if it was that easy, it would have been done months ago. Hence the problem. It requires much more and that was that exploration in the terms of reference and digging into what that (hybrid model) looks like,” she said.

“Our boots on the streets are working darn hard and their work is dangerous. And the last thing I want to see is this council directing them to a (Priority) 3 and 4 and they’re already working hard.”

Speaking last week, Wyntjes said her original motion was not meant to be a slight against the RCMP but a call to look into supplementing its service.

“I want to be clear that I recognize the wonderful work the RCMP is doing, but this is a way to augment our policing and safety in our community,” she said. “If we don’t explore it, we’re leaving something on the table that we might regret.”

Just Posted

City council approves operating budget to a tune of $364 million

The 2.02% hike includes 1% for capital investment and 0.11% for the carbon tax

Province not providing aid to Red Deer for its June storm

Cause of storm wasn’t ‘extraordinary’ according to province

UPDATE: Two taken into custody after shots fired in Riverside Meadows

Red Deer RCMP believe incident was targeted attack

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates present visions to Red Deerians

Party members will vote for their new leader on Feb. 7th

City sells former RCMP building, land to province

Construction of new courthouse in Red Deer one step closer to reality

WATCH: Lacombe and Red Deer Chambers prepare members for cannabis legalization

Luncheon speaker educates businesses on marijuana policies

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Most Read