Supt. Ken Foster, officer in charge for the Red Deer RCMP, gave Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce members a picture of what it’s like at the local detachment during a luncheon Wednesday.
Chamber members heard Red Deer has 161 officers, which includes 32 plain clothes officers, 111 municipal employees and casual staff.
There are also 29 Victim Services advocates providing more than 2,500 hours of work in the office and on crisis calls, and more than 17,800 more on call hours every year. There are also 13 Auxiliary Constables.
There were 52,749 calls for service in 2016.
“That’s a pretty big number when you break it down. The folks are going fairly hard,” he said. “At the end of the day all of the numbers in total, it brushes out to be about a $100,000 a day operation.”
He added Red Deer does have a higher case load then average and a higher Criminal Code per 1,000 population.
“Our officers are handling 163 Criminal Code cases – they handle many files, but those are the most serious Criminal Code matters – versus the provincial average of 92 per officer,” said Foster.
“When it talks about Criminal Code per thousand population there are about 250 Criminal Code crimes per thousand people here versus the provincial average of 124.”
He added there are many contributing factors.
“Geographic location for the reason in that Red Deer is a great place to do business with the transportation corridor, the great trading area that we have, the relatively stable economy most times – people come here for those reasons. There are people here with lots of disposable income when times are going well and young males with disposable income tend to do more crime – that is not me trying to be rude to young single males – it’s the fact of life and the numbers tell us that,” said Foster.
“Red Deer has a young population with an average age of 38 and 20.8 per cent of those are males between the age of 15 and 50-years-old. In our business males do more crime. It is just a matter of fact.”
In 2016, the Red Deer RCMP’s Crime Severity Index, which is put together by Stats Canada, was 182 – up 7%.
However, the crime rates across Alberta are up about 18%.