January 12, 2023
Edmonton, AB – Earlier this week, the National Police Federation submitted its pre-Budget asks for 2023-2024 to the Government of Alberta, calling for strategic investments into policing to support Alberta’s most impacted citizens and communities following a number of years of underfunding.
For too long, our Members have been called on to fill gaps left by diminishing social services. RCMP detachments have remained underfunded across the province, and our Members are consistently told to do more with less when they are already overworked, stressed, and not fully resourced.
“Modern policing requires pragmatic approaches to supporting and delivering effective public safety for communities and their residents – in particular, rural and remote areas that are served by the RCMP,” said Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation. “Against the backdrop of a growing population and evolving criminal environment, we believe it’s time to invest in both policing and public safety for the benefit of our communities and all its residents.”
Instead of redirecting taxes to an unpopular and costly proposed provincial police transition, the NPF recommends investing $371 million over three years – money that the Government of Alberta indicated would need to be spent on one-time transition costs – as follows:
- $164M to increase Regular Member strength by 633 additional positions, plus 250 administrative support staff
- Chronic underfunding of the RCMP and hiring of police officers has not kept pace with population growth or expanding police mandates in the province. In fact, police hiring grew by about 5.7% between 2017 and 2021, while Alberta’s population grew by about 7.3% over the same period.
- $45M to support modernized and sustainable equipment resources
- Timely investments are required to address aging equipment, including body worn cameras, hard body armour, vehicle purchase, radios, aerial surveillance, and telecommunications.
- $20M to address effective and holistic responses to wellbeing and mental health related calls
- To bridge vulnerable Albertans’ access to the full spectrum of social supports, $15M should be invested in expanding Police and Crisis Teams, and an additional $5M to expand the HealthIM pilot app in RCMP detachments across the province.
- $38M invested in proactive initiatives to reduce rural crime across the province
- Important funding towards the Gun and Gang Violence Action Fund, the Alberta Community Restorative Justice Program, the Call Back Unit, to Project Lock-Up, and ALERT, for example, would both stop and deter crime and address their root causes.
- $4M in grant funding to support the implementation of Police Advisory Committees
- This one-time grant would assist in offsetting costs of establishing the now-mandated community-based advisory committees.
- $100M invested with a focus on equitable access in rural and remote communities
- Addressing the root causes of crime also means investing into other areas of the public safety continuum such as housing, social services, and hospitals and treatment centres.
“It’s no secret that affordability and prudency are top-of-mind for all Albertans and their families, and our cost-saving recommendations are respectful of that reality,” said Kevin Halwa, Director, Prairie Region. “Policing is also no stranger to financial pressures, especially as communities’ needs continue to evolve, and we believe these necessary investments will go farther to address immediate public safety concerns in our province than an unnecessary police transition would,” he added.
A copy of our Pre-Budget Submission is available here: https://npf-fpn.com/npf-alberta-pre-budget-2023-submission/
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations