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Cold Lake turning to province for more court time

The city of Cold Lake is looking to the province when it comes to more court time. Cold Lake City Council will be lobbying the provincial government for more judges and longer hours for the provincial court to help with fighting rural crime and smoothing out the workload.

In a crime forum held earlier in the year, Crown Prosecutor Jeff Rudiak outlined the need for more court time to help with the almost 2,000 cases a year his team deal with.

Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland knows that more staff and court time won’t just benefit the police in town.

“That will help clear the docket quicker and help with the whole process. (It will help) Not only the RCMP but victims of crime too.”

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The province had previously announced about $14.5 million in funding had been allowed for the hiring of 35 more prosecutors and support staff across the province. Copeland says some of that money is being used in the area to good effect.

Council is ready to begin the process of lobbying the province. Copeland says allowing more cases to be heard is going to make the process of hearings more efficient.

“It’s so there’s not such a big delay in having your person that’s done the crime getting their sentencing, whether they’re guilty or not guilty.”

Council says it’s prepared to start the process of lobbying immediately. A letter to the Minister of Justice over the issue is expected to go out in the near future.

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