Response to Government of Alberta's plan for a provincial police service

ABmunis representatives received a high-level briefing from Alberta Justice Minister Tyler Shandro and senior ministry officials on the Government of Alberta’s deployment plan for a provincial police service on Tuesday, August 16, shortly before the plan was publicized at a Calgary news conference.

The Government of Alberta’s deployment plan is quite long and detailed, so it will take some time for us to digest and analyze it. We anticipate we will have more to say on the matter in the coming days.

Based on what we learned at today’s briefing, Alberta Municipalities has some outstanding concerns.

To start, we do not believe enough consultation and engagement occurred between the Government of Alberta, local governments and key stakeholders like us since October 29, 2021, when the provincial government released its Alberta Provincial Police Service (APPS) transition study final report.

Alberta Municipalities has a set of three principles for a provincial police service that reflect the needs and priorities of local governments in Alberta, and that apply to any provincial police service, regardless of the service provider. The principles address:

  • Police governance and oversight – Meaningful local input, municipal representation and regular reporting to the communities they serve are required.
  • Police service levels – Minimum standards for infrastructure, supervision, administration and front-line services, better performance than current RCMP delivers, metrics and public performance reporting are needed.
  • Policing costs – municipalities should not bear any of the costs associated with implementing and transitioning to a provincial police service.

We will be looking closely at the provincial government’s report to see if the deployment plan aligns with our provincial police service principles.

Fundamentally, we believe the creation of an Alberta provincial police service should be driven by the real public safety needs of the communities it will serve rather than by political motivations.

The official statement is available for download.