LETHBRIDGE COUNTY, AB – It appears Lethbridge County is not overly keen on Alberta switching to a provincial police force one day.
The Alberta government has been investigating the possibility of getting rid of the RCMP for rural policing, replacing the mounties with a province-based service instead.
Reeve Tory Campbell says it’s Lethbridge County’s position that Alberta communities have not been properly consulted on this.
“Lethbridge County Council and a majority of other rural municipalities do not support this proposed transition to an Alberta Provincial Police Service. We have regularly lobbied our MLAs and provincial ministers, but to this point, our concerns seem to have fallen on deaf ears,” said Campbell in an emailed statement.
Reeve Campbell points to a number of concerns mainly pertaining to costing, levels of service, and municipal input.
Lethbridge County provided some numbers to illustrate the financial pressures it has been under since the province began shifting the cost of policing to municipalities, resulting in a $352,000.00 cost to Lethbridge County to cover RCMP policing in Lethbridge County. This cost rose to $469,000.00 in 2022, with estimated costs to Lethbridge County of $704,000.00 in 2023 and 2024.
Campbell says at a time when provincial downloading continues to impact municipal finances, Lethbridge County and a majority of rural municipalities continue to stress the dire consequences of further downloading from the Province of Alberta.
“What what we can see is that costing hasn’t been thouroughly explored,” says Campbell.