The Prince Albert Police Service has received $2.09 million from the Ministry of Justice to continue funding for 19 officers in specialized programs.
Prince Albert Daily Herald
The influx of cash will allow local police to continue targeted investigations in areas such as the Internet Child Exploitation Unit, Enhanced Investigations, the Serious Habitual Offender Comprehensive Action Program, the Building Partnerships to Reduce Crime Initiative and the newly announced Dedicated Traffic Safety Enforcement Unit.
Expressing his gratitude for the funding, Prince Albert Police Chief Troy Cooper noted the magnitude of its effect.
“It’s incredible,” Cooper said. “I mean, there are 19 police officers out of 93 that are funded by the province, so as a percentage, that’s an incredible boost to the police service.
“It allows us to do some of the specialized sort of policing that we’re required to do without taxing the citizens of P.A. directly,” he added.
Funding goes directly towards covering the costs of police officer positions, which have a tendency to increase as the years go by.
There are 19 police officers out of 93 that are funded by the province, so as a percentage, that’s an incredible boost to the police service. Police Chief Troy Cooper
“We negotiated some of these provincial positions in many years ago … and of course over time, our ability to fund policing erodes as salaries increase and operating costs increase,” Cooper said.
Previously, the Prince Albert Police Service received $105,000 per position from the provincial government to cover the cost of salary plus training, fleet costs, etc.
While the city had covered the difference if the actual cost of an officer exceeded the government contribution, more recently the police department had determined that an increase in the latter was necessary.
“I think the increase was the recognition that when we received $105,000 that didn’t cover the cost,” Cooper said.
“So as we lobbied government and worked with our partners in government, they agreed to increase the revenue that they gave us to $110,000 this year.”