The Alberta RCMP has committed to adding 76 additional Mounties across the province this year to support frontline policing across rural Alberta as well as 57 new civilian support positions.
This stems from the announcement of Alberta’s Police Funding Model and recognizing the need for additional resources in growing municipalities.
Corporal Troy Savinkoff with the Cochrane RCMP says that there are many factors that are considered when determining the need for adding members and that the Cochrane detachment has been recognized as one of the most in need of additional resources.
He says "They deploy those members by looking at call volumes, population growth, and a bunch of other factors to determine which detachments were in the most need of additional resources, and we were identified as one of the most in need detachments in the province and we will be getting three of those members in the first wave.
Savinkoff says that the Cochrane detachment has been falling behind as population and call increases have happened.
He says "We haven't seen a proportional increase in membership. We've been fortunate that the town has given us a few positions which we've been utilizing, however, our provincial positions which police areas like Bragg Creek, Springbank, Bearspaw and Morley- we haven't had an increase in those positions for a very long time, and I'm saying probably like 15 years."
The Cochrane detachment currently has 23 municipal positions and 30 provincial positions.
Cochrane has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada and over the past several years the areas surrounding Cochrane are also steadily growing, increasing the need for additional resources. Savinkoff says "When you look at new subdivisions like Harmony and the large increase in those communities, the results of that are an increase in call volumes and higher workloads for our members. That's why the need was seen for our detachment and why we're getting three new members."
Savinkoff goes on to say that "Those new members will be placed straight in frontline policing and will pretty much equate to an increase of one additional member every day out on the road."
Staffing officers are already in the process of acquiring new members. Savinkoff says "From a Cochrane perspective, we'll be receiving some of those additional resources from transfers within the division itself, but ultimately most of those positions will be supplied through the training academy. "