The Alberta Government is making changes to better protect rural citizens.

They are investing 10 million dollars to add more RCMP officers, civilian staff and crown prosecutors to fight back on rural crime.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley says they are putting a seven point plan in place that should give big results.

"In an effort to better protect rural Albertans we are increasing RCMP officers, hiring additional civilian staff and funding more crown prosecutes," said Ganley.

She said this will put more frontline officers on the street.

"It will mean we can take a lot of the work frontline officers are doing and give it to other people so those officers can be in their communities more."

RCMP Commanding Officer, Todd Shean says these plans will allow them to greatly expand their policing in rural areas.

"These units are designed to act fast targeting the repeat offenders that commit a vast majority of crimes in the area."

He adds they will be made up of seasoned police officers who posses the investigation skills  and flexibility to effectively address crime hot spots.

The key elements include:

- 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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