Edmonton, Alberta – Today, the Union of Safety and Justice Employees, alongside members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Prairie Region – as well as allies – held a rally at RCMP K Division Headquarters to “Keep the RCMP in Alberta.”
Today’s rally comes in response to Premier Danielle Smith’s directive to Alberta’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services to establish a provincial police force.
“Rural policing in Alberta needs the experience of a more robust RCMP, not a costly and uncertain transition to a provincial police force,” said David Neufeld, National President, USJE.
“Two-thirds of Albertans support keeping the RCMP. It’s time to invest in Alberta’s justice system, not gamble with the safety and security of Albertans,” added President Neufeld.
As a federal public service union representing 18,000 public safety and justice employees, public safety is USJE’s number one priority.
USJE remains confident in the RCMP’s capacity to improve public safety outcomes in Alberta.
This includes the 700 non-uniformed RCMP employees that USJE represents in this province who play crucial roles in supporting investigations, forensics, prosecutions, emergency responsiveness, and front line service delivery in every detachment in Alberta.
These 700 individuals are part of 30,000 well trained and equipped uniformed and non-uniformed RCMP employees from coast to coast to coast.
With 116 RCMP Detachments in nearly every corner of Alberta, plus a large regional headquarters in Edmonton, the infrastructure is already in place to improve levels of service for Albertans living in rural and urban areas.
“Alberta taxpayers will lose badly when it comes to the establishment of a provincial police force that is expected to cost significantly more than the RCMP to operate on an annual basis, in addition to an estimated 366 million in startup costs,” said Valda Behrens, USJE’s Regional Vice-President and a former RCMP employee from High River.
“It will also face major challenges in recruiting officers away from other forces,” Ms. Behrens emphasized.
USJE will continue to fight for the public safety of Albertans and future of the RCMP in Alberta.
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