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Alberta government hiring staff to study feasibility of replacing RCMP with new police force

Click to play video 'Alberta to study provincial police and pension plan' Alberta to study provincial police and pension plan
WATCH ABOVE: (From June 17, 2020) Alberta's Fair Deal Panel is recommending a provincial police force and pension plan. The Kenney government will now study the recommendation and confirmed a referendum on equalization will be held next year.

The Alberta government is looking to hire a contractor to study the benefits and costs of a proposed provincial police force that could replace the RCMP.

Online job postings show the province wants the contractor to do a feasibility review of a possible transition from the RCMP to an Alberta Provincial Police Service.

An executive manager, with a salary of up to $164,000, would oversee a team that is to provide an evidence based and objective assessment of the idea.

The provincial government’s Fair Deal Panel recommended in June the creation of a provincial police force, saying the RCMP has become too bureaucratically inflexible and smaller communities aren’t getting enough front-line officers.

READ MORE: RCMP deploying more Mounties in Alberta under agreement with the province 

A government website says the new transition study will help the government as it considers the recommendation.

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Blaise Boehmer, an Alberta Justice spokesman, says a final decision on whether to replace the RCMP won’t be made until after a final report based the study is completed by April 30, 2021.

“No decisions have been made about whether to replace the RCMP in Alberta with a provincial police service,” he said in an email Thursday night.

“However, we have a responsibility to explore whether new ways of policing can improve the safety and security of Albertans and their property.

“Rural Albertans told the Fair Deal Panel about their frustrations with rural policing and we have an obligation to follow up on the panel’s findings and study whether there’s a better way to protect our communities.”

The government’s request for proposals seeks a vendor to conduct a study that will examine key questions around establishing a provincial police service to replace the RCMP, including operational requirements, processes and costs.

Boehmer said the study itself will cost a maximum of $2 million.

The deadline to apply for the jobs was earlier this week.