Council funds additional RCMP officer: Cold Lake

At its July 11 Regular Meeting, Cold Lake City Council voted to add an additional municipal RCMP position at the Cold Lake RCMP Detachment.

The funding for RCMP positions at detachments where the RCMP provides municipal policing are split between the federal government, the provincial government and municipalities. While the City of Cold Lake budgets to fund a full compliment of approved officers at the Cold Lake Detachment, positions are often unfilled during the year for a variety of reasons.

This can be due to transfers, parental leave, delays in replacing retiring members, and a variety of other reasons. Because the staffing compliment is rarely at 100 per cent, administration advised council that it could approve an additional officer without significant effect to the city’s operational budget.

“The men and women at the Cold Lake RCMP detachment operate in a very busy environment and have been doing a great job with the resources they have,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. 

“On a case-load basis, they are extremely busy, and it is only fitting that the City comes to the table with more resources. We certainly appreciate that the Government of Alberta also saw the need to help with their staffing levels. Their job is stressful and essential to our community’s safety – it’s not an area you want to see understaffed.” 

The decision came after administration learned that the Government of Alberta approved two additional provincially-funded officers at the Cold Lake RCMP detachment. The detachment now sits at a compliment of 36 approved regular members and nine support staff. Of those, 20 of the regular members and seven support staff are municipally funded. 

This means that a total of three new RCMP members for the Cold Lake detachment will be recruited in the coming months. 

“While we are happy that our RCMP detachment is receiving additional resources, adding more police officers will not solve our issues with crime when the justice system itself fails to act when required,” Copeland said. “We need more judges so that cases can be heard expediently, and laws that will deliver consequences for crimes committed.” 

In the City of Cold Lake’s experience, newly funded RCMP positions typically take about 12-18 months to fill.

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