The Drumheller RCMP detachment is making an application through a provincial program for a new police officer to serve in the valley, although there is no guarantee they will receive one.
At the February 16 Drumheller Town Council Meeting, council gave the RCMP direction to make an application for a new officer. The provincial commitment is to provide 300 new frontline police officers over three years. Last year the Drumheller RCMP was successful in securing a new officer. In 2010, there will be another 100 officer positions made available. Of these, 20 will be allocated to RCMP detachments who have a policing contract with a municipality, such as the set up in Drumheller.
Staff Sergeant Art Hopkins says he does not know if all 42 RCMP detachments with municipal contracts have applied to the program, however of those, so far in the last two years, all but seven detachments have been successful in attaining a new frontline officer. He says it stands to reason if these seven detachments make an application, there is probably 13 allotments to be filled.
“There is the opportunity to get funding for another policeman and there are many different duties we can have that policeman do,” said Hopkins.
The province has provided $30 million to provide the 300 new officers. Of these positions, 123 officers have been added in Calgary, 105 in Edmonton, and 60 have gone to RCMP detachments. According to a release, to qualify for additional police positions, police agencies had to demonstrate where and how the new officers will be used, and that all its frontline police positions were filled.
“Police agencies and Albertans told us they wanted more police in their communities,” said Frank Oberle, Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security. “We are delivering those resources and making it harder for criminals to operate in this province.”