Policing in Alberta

Resolution Category Policy Paper 2
Subject Social
Year 2009
Status Adopted - Active
Active Clauses

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the AUMA 2009 General Assembly adopt the 2009 Policy Paper on Policing, and urge the Province of Alberta to work with AUMA to further review the principles, proposals and alternate recommendations therein.

Click to view the Policy Paper

Whereas Clauses

WHEREAS in June, 2008, the AUMA Board of Directors approved the establishment of a Task Force on policing;

WHEREAS the Task Force met on numerous occasions and prepared a draft policy paper and background material;

WHEREAS the draft policy paper and background material were presented at all Mayors’ Caucuses held in February, 2009 and no substantive amendments were made; and

WHEREAS at its meeting of February 27, 2009, the Board adopted the policy paper and background material.

Government Response

May 13, 2010 - Solicitor General & Minister of Public Security 

The Ministry of Solicitor General and Public Security (SGPS) is consulting with stakeholders on the Law Enforcement Framework (LEF), which addresses service delivery, accountability and funding; the three themes put forward by AUMA. LEF will address all of the AUMA’s recommendations which are consistent with the guiding principles contained in the LEF.

i. Recommended AUMA Positions on Police Commissions; ii. Policing Committees and iii. Community Advisory Committees

As outlined under “Ensuring Accountability to Albertans” in the LEF, all communities in Alberta should have a mechanism in place to provide adequate, transparent and meaningful input into local policing needs and priorities. SGPS understands that communities should have the flexibility to address their local policing needs and will work with the communities to ensure adequate accountability mechanisms are created.

iv. Recommended AUMA Position on Continuum of Policing

The LEF strategic direction concerning “Strengthening Service Delivery” address AUMA’s position on the continuum of policing. SGPS recognizes that a continuum would assist communities in allocating law enforcement personnel (police officers and peace officers) more effectively. SGPS will play a leadership role in ensuring that those who provide law enforcement services will have the proper training and authority to perform their duties.

v. Recommend AUMA Position on Funding

SGPS recognizes that the perceived inequities between urban and rural municipalities is an issue for many municipalities. Officials from SGPS are continuing this important discussion with stakeholders on how best to achieve a police funding model that is transparent and equitable, better aligned with the services provided, and sustainable for municipalities.

v.i.a) Other Issues – Recommended AUMA Position on Number of Police

The Policy Paper notes that Alberta does not have enough police officers. The police to population ratios are a poor indicator of policing need, as in Alberta sheriffs and peace officers work in collaboration with police officers and community characteristics can affect the need for officers. The LEF will address some of these issues in its response to service delivery. The province has also responded to this issue with the Premier’s New Police Officer Initiative, adding 300 new police positions throughout Alberta over the last three years.

v.i.b) Other Issues – Recommended AUMA Position on Attraction and Retention

The Government of Alberta understands the importance of attracting individuals to a policing career. In 2008, SGPS provided funding in the amount of $1,273,500 for a three year provincial initiative to benefit all police services: Alberta C.O.P.S. (Career Opportunities in Police Services) with the goal being to increase awareness of policing as a career among youth (ages 18-34) by using post-secondary students to implement marketing campaigns on and off campus.

Retention has been identified as an issue with police services and each police service addresses it differently. The police services are responsible for deciding what programs or initiatives will be used to retain their officers.

v.i.c) Other Issues – Recommend AUMA Position on Municipal Participation

Policing is a local, provincial and federal concern. SGPS will continue to work with municipalities in ensuring policing is adequate, effective and accountable to Albertans. In addition, SGPS will provide a leadership role in policing in Alberta with respect to establishing policies and standards and conducting research.

Alberta Municipalities notes

AUMA accepts this response but will continue to monitor the implementation of the LEF and the impact to urban municipalities.