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Alberta

Province funding 50 more Edmonton Police Service Officers to tackle high crime areas

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Safer streets for Edmonton

Alberta’s government is fighting rising crime in Edmonton with an $8.3-million investment to help hire 50 new police officers.

Edmontonians have a right to walk through their city streets or take public transit without fearing for their safety. Due to rising acts of violence, the government is taking direct action to keep Edmontonians safe.

By investing in the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) to support their efforts to recruit, train and deploy 50 new officers, high-crime areas like transit centres and the downtown core will see increased police presence.

“Our government will do whatever it takes to address the concerning escalating crime rates, particularly in vital areas like public transit and the downtown core where social disorder is prevalent. This funding will help strengthen the capabilities of law enforcement and make sure they have the necessary tools and personnel to improve public safety and fight criminals who continue to prey on vulnerable residents.”

Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services

The EPS is actively recruiting new members for this initiative. These additional officers will be strategically placed in high-crime areas with the flexibility to be redeployed to other parts of the city based on evolving needs. Provincial funding will help pay for police officer salaries and benefits and equipment needs like vehicles, uniforms, radios and body-worn cameras.

“These are much-needed resources, and though hiring and training will take time before officers hit city streets, we know their presence will accelerate our existing efforts. We have redeployed our front-line resources to places like transit and the downtown and have increased recruit class sizes to get ahead of service demands, and these additional officers are the next step in tackling Edmonton’s high-crime areas. We are grateful for the funding and support of the provincial government and look forward to the impact the officers will have on our streets.”

Dale McFee, chief, Edmonton Police Service

“Edmontonians have been loud and clear that safe public spaces are a priority. The funding and prioritization of transit centres and the core is an investment in our shared, long-term commitment to create a safe and vibrant city.”

Sarah Hamilton, Ward sipiwiyiniwak councillor, City of Edmonton

“The Edmonton Police Commission has advocated for police funding necessary to address the myriad community safety issues facing our city, and we appreciate the provincial government making good on its commitment to fund 50 additional front-line officers. This investment will help support the police service’s long-term strategy of making our streets safer.”

Erick Ambtman, chair, Edmonton Police Commission

“The DRC appreciates the collaborative effort the Edmonton Police Service and provincial government have put into addressing high-crime areas. We know from other cities that the presence of law enforcement and proactive policing increases the perception of safety and can even reduce incidents of crime and disorder. Through this funding, we look forward to seeing more police deployed throughout the core, working towards a safer, more vibrant and more connected downtown.”

Alex Hryciwchair, Downtown Recovery Coalition

The addition of new officers builds on several actions the government has already taken to improve public safety on Edmonton’s streets, including implementing a pilot project to team Alberta Sheriffs with EPS officers, adding more local positions to the Sheriffs’ Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit, and a $5-million grant to improve safety on the city’s transit network.

Quick facts

  • Funding breakdown:
    • $4.5 million for officer salaries and benefits
    • $2.5 million for one-time costs like vehicles, uniforms, radios and workstations
    • $850,000 for ongoing technology costs
    • $500,000 for one-time recruitment expansion efforts

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Alberta

New surveillance teams led by the Alberta Sheriffs working with local police in rural communities

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More boots on the ground to fight rural crime

Rural crime continues to be a top concern among residents and businesses in rural Alberta, which is why Alberta’s government remains committed to addressing it through enhanced surveillance and other crime reduction initiatives. Alberta’s government invested $4.3 million for the Alberta Sheriffs to put more boots on the ground. This investment supported the establishment of two plainclothes teams – one in northern Alberta and one in southern Alberta – to support police in carrying out surveillance on criminal targets in rural areas.

Both teams are now fully staffed and operational, ready to fight crime in rural areas across Alberta. These rural surveillance teams will work to prevent crime, monitor agricultural theft and work in collaboration with local law enforcement to share intelligence and resources to keep Albertans and their property safe and secure.

“Criminals and organized crime are not welcome in Alberta. Full stop. The addition of two new surveillance teams will further support our law enforcement partners in stamping out criminal activity in Alberta’s rural areas. This is about supporting local investigations to address local crime in our smaller communities. Together, both teams will form another key component of Alberta’s efforts to combat crime and ensure Albertans feel safe at home and in their communities, regardless of where they live.”

Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services

The Alberta Sheriffs have an existing surveillance unit that is part of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) and focused mainly on serious and organized crime investigations. The new surveillance teams will fill a gap by helping rural RCMP detachments with local investigations.

“Through their specialized knowledge, training and experience, Alberta’s new surveillance teams are providing another important mechanism in the fight against crime in Alberta’s rural communities. Working in close collaboration with the RCMP and other policing agencies, their efforts will play a key role in gathering evidence and information that will help disrupt crime throughout the province.”

Mike Letourneau, superintendent, Alberta Sheriffs

“This announcement by the Alberta government and Minister Ellis is a positive step forward for the residents of Alberta, especially in rural areas. Targeting known criminals is a very effective way to reduce the level of crime taking place and will greatly assist the RCMP who have a vast area to police.”

Lance Colby, mayor, Town of Carstairs

“We are happy to hear about increased resources being allocated to assist our communities. Addressing rural crime is one of the top priorities of the Alberta RCMP, and our partners at the Alberta Sheriffs already play a vital role in keeping Albertans safe. The creation of these new surveillance teams will help augment our ongoing crime reduction strategies in Alberta communities, and we look forward to working with them going forward.”

Trevor Daroux, assistant commissioner, criminal operations officer, Alberta RCMP

The new surveillance teams are part of a suite of measures to expand the role of the Alberta Sheriffs and make Alberta communities safer. Other actions include the expansion of the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit – which uses legal sanctions and court orders to target problem properties where illegal activities are taking place – and the expansion of the RAPID Response initiative with funding for the Sheriff Highway Patrol to train and equip members to assist the RCMP with emergencies and high-priority calls.

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