March 9, 2018 1:33 pm
Updated: March 9, 2018 8:13 pm

Alberta announces $10M, 39 RCMP officer positions, to fight rural crime

WATCH ABOVE: The province announced $10 million in new funding on Friday to fight rural crime across Alberta. The funding will support the hiring of 39 RCMP officers, 40 civilian positions, as well as Crown prosecutors. Fletcher Kent reports.

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The province is funnelling $10 million of new money to fight rural crime across Alberta.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley made the announcement on Friday morning.

“This spike in criminal activity worries me,” she said.

The funding will support the hiring of 39 RCMP officers, 40 civilian positions, as well as Crown prosecutors.

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READ MORE: Alberta RCMP changing tactics to address rural crime, says commanding officer

“Rural Crime Reduction Units are designed to act fast to target repeat offenders who commit the vast majority of crimes in an area,” RCMP Deputy Commissioner Todd Shean said.

“I can assure you, if you are committing crime in Alberta, we will identify you and we will stop you.”

Much of the money will be specifically targeted — given to specialized Crime Reduction Units to allow police to work more effectively and closely within rural communities.

It will include six new intelligence-focused officers, four additional crime analysts and more civilian staff to cut down on paperwork so that officers can spend more time in their communities.

READ MORE: Alberta man charged after farm shooting met with applause outside courthouse 

“Rural police officers are part of their communities,” Ganley said. “They do difficult and extremely important work every day. I want to thank the RCMP for the work they do to protect Albertans.

“I’m confident this plan will give our rural police officers more tools in their toolbox to fight crime.”

READ MORE: Victims of rural crime speak out; Alberta Conservatives call it ‘an epidemic’ 

The announcement was made after dozens of victims of rural crime raised concerns about the issue at the legislature in November.

The United Conservative Party also pushed the NDP for an emergency debate.

“What’s going on in rural Alberta on the crime side is basically an epidemic,” Official Opposition leader Jason Nixon said on Nov. 27, 2017.

Watch below: The Alberta government is putting $10 million towards fight rural crime across Alberta. As Fletcher Kent explains, that money will help hire dozens of new Mounties.

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