The Town of Fort Macleod says it was a difficult decision, but it has chosen to end its Community Peace Officer (CPO) program, effective immediately.

The Town saying in a news release on Tuesday (Feb. 25), that it’s ending its agreement with the Solicitor General’s office of Alberta now that small communities are being forced to pay for their police.

It goes on to say that with the provincial government downloading policing costs on to municipalities, it has put a burden on Fort Macleod’s finances to ensure that basic service levels can be provided to taxpayers.

Fort Macleod’s two CPOs were permanently laid off as of Monday (Feb. 24).

The Town now hopes to have a Bylaw Officer employed by April 1.