DIDSBURY - Town council has accepted in principle the Didsbury RCMP detachment multi-year financial plan, which runs from April 2022 to March 2027.
The move came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.
The plan is part of the existing municipal police force agreement (MSPA) between the RCMP and the Town of Didsbury.
It includes a list of MSPA positions, a listing of resources to support the service, and a forecast of future year costs.
The plan states, in part, that, it is “a reflection of the RCMP and the Town of Didsbury to ensure adequate and effective municipal policing is provided in the Town of Didsbury, pursuant to the MPSA. The safety and security of the citizens of the Town of Didsbury and the police officers serving within the municipal police service remains the ultimate goal.”
The plan updates the project MPSA costs for the fiscal years of 2022 to 2027.
Didsbury municipal detachment resources set out in the plan (the portion the Town of Didsbury funds) includes one corporal, three constables and one municipal clerk.
Anticipated increases to resources outlined in the plan include one regular member in 2022-23 at an estimate cost of $118,595, one municipal employee in 2023-24 at an estimated cost of $50,315, and one regular member in 2025-26 at an estimated cost of $119,925.
“The public expects a high level of police service which includes quality and timely investigations, support through the court process, visibility throughout the community, regular appearances in schools and traffic enforcement. As populations increase, so will the requests for more staff to complete these tasks,” the plan states.
As well, the court process has been increasingly onerous on police agencies for several years, prompting the need for more support staff.
“We will be moving toward an e-disclosure process where all investigative documents will be submitted to the courts electronically. This process will cause significantly more work for support staff.”
The plan also outlines some of the equipment police officers may need in the coming years.
“The Alberta RCMP is bound by regulatory requirements to ensure members are properly trained and appropriately equipped, and equipment purchase are planned to meet these necessities.”
Equipment and related upgrades referred to in the plan includes body worn cameras, pistol modernization, portable ballistic shields, breaching equipment, extended range impact weapons, hard body armour, situational awareness software, and in-vehicle digital video systems.
“The RCMP remains committed to the sound stewardship of public resources in balance with operational requirements in a complex and evolving landscape,” the plan states.
“The continuing investment in the municipal police service, particularly in building front-line resources, will better equip the RCMP in Didsbury to meet the challenges that accompany prosperity and growth.”
The agreement is accepted in principle only and will be considered as part of the municipal annual budget development process.
“I think it is a great document and the agreement guides us,” said mayor Rhonda Hunter.