A partnership between Rimbey and Sylvan Lake RCMP detachments, to take off as a pilot project, looks like it has the potential to create a win/win scenario for all members as well as provide 24-hour police coverage in both municipalities.
On Tuesday, Rimbey Detachment Commander, Sgt. Kurtis Pillipow, and Central Alberta District Chief Superintendent Shahin Mehdizadeh, Superintendent Gord Stewart, Inspector Grant Smith and District Advisory NCO Scott Lande spoke to Rimbey town council about the project.
Mehdizadeh explained to council that the proposed pilot project would mean Rimbey members would work shifts around the clock and if backup was needed they would call the Sylvan Lake detachment. Sylvan Lake members who needed back up would call Rimbey detachment.
“Our members don’t have to be on call, they don’t have to be woken up in the middle of the night. It will improve our members’ well-being and health and we will still be able to provide more coverage and more presence.”
Mehdizadeh said Central Alberta District has been looking at opportunities where detachments can better align their resources and work in more strategic partnership to deliver their services.
“It (this partnership) will increase productivity and efficiency at no extra cost,” he said. “With this pilot initiative we would like to explore eficiencies to deliver a better policing service model to this region while providing our employees with a better shift and work/life balance.”
Mehdizadeh said the project will provide higher quality and more responsive policing through a much more manageable shift schedule and availability of resources.
Pillpow said Rimbey RCMP members will still work in Rimbey.
“Rimbey members will still work in Rimbey, and Sylvan members in Sylvan, we will just work on the same shift schedule and rely on each other for assistance when required.”
The goal of this pilot project is to provide a better police service model, while at the same time being fiscally responsible. It will be an interesting adjustment,” he added, noting the project is designed to improve service delivery for both detachments.
Mehdizadeh said a similar pilot project was introduced between Camrose and Wetaskiwin RCMP detachments and is working well.
“If it doesn’t work we can go back to like it was, like it never happened.”
Mayor Rick Pankiw said he liked the concept.
“Anytime we get 24-hour coverage it is a good thing,” he said.
Mehdizadeh said a date as to when the pilot project will begin has yet to be determined.