The RCMP could soon have a detachment in Clairmont as the County of Grande Prairie works to find a suitable location.
The county is building a committee to find a suitable site for the RCMP rural detachment, with an eye to being able to accommodate for future rural policing needs within the county.
“We're working through the preliminary stages right at the moment, and one of the things was establishing the committee from the County of Grande Prairie because the county will be building the detachment on behalf of the RCMP in collaboration with the province and the RCMP,” said Leanne Beaupre, County of Grande Prairie reeve.
The committee will consist of three county councillors appointed by county council, three members of the county administration and up to five members of the RCMP.
Beaupre said that the province determines the guidelines as to where a detachment may go and looks at population as one of its guidelines.
“Once we have the federal census available to us we'll have a more current idea what the population is in the Clairmont area, and that helps the RCMP as well as the province establish a detachment.”
“The rural policing is being serviced by the rural police detachment, that's presently located in the city of Grande Prairie, and this is in all essence, is moving outside of Grande Prairie, into a rural location,” said Beaupre.
The new Clairmont detachment will cover the same service area as it does now, said Beaupre.
A specific location for the Clairmont detachment hasn’t yet been chose, said Beaupre.
The province is currently reviewing policing services provincewide and has begun charging municipalities for policing in a graduated manner.
In 2020 municipalities were required to pay 10 per cent of policing costs and 15 per cent in 2021; that will rise to 20 per cent in 2022, when previously they were not required to pay anything for policing costs, according to a CTV article.
The new model will add more RCMP officers to rural areas which will also allow detachments to hire more support staff and tactical units to further their work in rural areas, says the CTV article.
“We want to make sure that whatever commitment the province has for enforcement, that if we build a detachment, they will be committed to putting people in it, whether it's RCMP or a different form of enforcement,” said Beaupre.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News