Changes to rural policing by the provincial government will soon be making a difference in Southern Alberta.

Staff Sergeant Robin Alexander with the High River RCMP says the Crime Reduction Teams set up in each of the four districts in the province is going to be great for catching criminals.

"Our district is known as Southern Alberta district and there will be a team of investigators dedicated soley to this area," said Alexander. "Currently they are working on what we call habitual offenders, so people we know who are going out and doing crimes and we are picking them up. This is a completely proactive effort."

Alexander says it is great because the teams crosses detachment boundaries which will help catch the criminals who have no boundaries.

Along with the crime reduction team, adding support staff to free up officers to be patrolling more, will also make a difference.

"It is essential that we have the support staff to look after that side so we can remained focused and being on the road and catching bad guys. Without that we end up spending a lot of time in front of computers preparing court documents and reports and so on and so forth."

Key elements of the $10-million seven-point plan:

Crime reduction units: Specially trained officers will focus on arresting prolific offenders. This initiative will expand on a successful pilot project in Central Alberta.
Specialized police intelligence: Six additional intelligence-focused RCMP officers plus four crime analyst positions will allow the RCMP to identify prolific offenders and target organized crime.
Policing support centre: RCMP officers need to be on the streets protecting our communities, not behind a desk filling out paperwork. Twenty-three civilians will input investigative updates dictated over the phone by officers.
More Crown prosecutors: $2 million will allow the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service to hire up to 10 Crown prosecutors who will focus solely on rural crime.
Better coordination: Sharing information with Alberta sheriffs, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and conservation officers will effectively make these officials additional “eyes and ears” for police.
Enhanced technology: The RCMP will work with Alberta Justice and Solicitor General and other partners to explore new ways of using technology to target rural crime, including bait programs.
Public education and engagement: The RCMP will engage and educate Albertans about crime prevention.


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