The future of policing in the MD of Bonnyville is at a crossroads. A new payment system for policing in the province is currently being discussed that would see MD’s and counties paying into the costs of RCMP policing, something that hasn’t happened since 1988.
On September 26th MD council heard a little more information on the proposed changes from Director of Public Safety Chris Garner. Reeve Greg Sawchuk says council is a little concerned about a future cost without any change in service.
“We do have trouble with the fact of the numbers that [the provincial government] is throwing out there, should they go to the high-side being 70 percent of the cost, we’re looking at a price tag of 3-plus million dollars per year.”
One option for the MD is to start up a regional police force in partnership with either Bonnyville or Cold Lake. Sawchuk says a potential new police force would handle certain policing while the RCMP would handle other, more serious offences.
“It would be some sort of hybrid. If the costs get that high, that’s probably what we could be doing. We’ll be looking at all of our options.”
The provincial government has yet to say if and when a new policing formula will be implemented.