Another 20 municipalities have signed the Call to Action over a prospective provincial police force.
Earlier this week, the police union the National Police Federation (NPF) released an updated list of municipalities who have signed on.
The original document, released on June 27, included 72 municipalities and organizations, with the number having grown to 92 as of September 14.
The nearly 20 per cent increase in signees comes following the launch of the “Future of Policing in Alberta” website in August, along with a live broadcast from Justice Minister Tyler Shandro later that month.
NPF regional director Kevin Halwa says as awareness of the idea increases, so too does opposition.
“The more we’ve spoken to municipalities and everyday citizens, the more frustrated people in Alberta are coming with this proposed idea of a provincial police service, and the more frustrated they are that the provincial government continues not to listen to them. The polling has been clear and remains steady that support for the RCMP in Alberta is very strong and the opposition to a provincial police service is also very strong.”
According to the provincial government, the formation of a provincial police force would add more officers to detachments, add to the front line by reducing officers in administrative roles, and improve response times.
Those in opposition claim the transition would cost hundreds of millions of dollars that would be passed onto municipalities and that the switch would lose the province millions in annual federal funding.
The Call to Action suggests resources instead be used to improve on the existing RCMP structure including expanding police and crisis teams, hiring more prosecutors, and investing in more socio-economic supports.
Local municipalities who’ve signed the Call to Action include the towns of High River, Black Diamond, and Claresholm, as well as the Village of Longview.