Police Funding

Resolution Year: 
2014

WHEREAS the current legislation and level of support by the Government of Alberta creates substantial inequities in funding for police across the province; and

WHEREAS more than 20 percent of the provincial population receive policing through the Provincial Police Service Agreement at no direct cost; and

WHEREAS the average cost for policing in the 48 municipalities which are responsible for policing costs is approximately 15 percent of total tax revenue; and

WHEREAS in 2010 the Government of Alberta, through the Alberta Law Enforcement Framework (LEF), committed to restructuring funding for policing in Alberta to ensure it is a fair, shared responsibility “whereby each municipality contributes to the costs of providing local policing”; and

WHEREAS there has been no progress by the Government of Alberta in fulfilling its commitment pursuant to the LEF; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Police Governance reaffirm its 2011 resolution and again calls upon the Government of Alberta to fulfill its 2010 commitment to address the substantial inequities in funding for police across the province by developing the sustained, equitable and fair costing model envisioned in the Law Enforcement Framework; and

THEREFORE ALSO BE IT RESOLVED that any new funds obtained under a new costing model be reinvested into policing in Alberta (i.e. offset funding reductions to the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams).

Background: 

In 2010 the Government of Alberta released the Law Enforcement Framework (LEF). The vision of the LEF was that policing reflects the priorities of Albertans and, specific to this resolution, “The cost of policing services in Alberta should be shared in an equitable manner among Albertans and Alberta communities.”

Strategic direction 9 of the LEF, calls for the development of a model to distribute the costs of local policing in an equitable, transparent and sustainable manner. This strategic direction highlights the need for “Shared responsibility for the costs of law enforcement services, whereby each municipality contributes to the costs of providing local policing”.

During the LEF stakeholder consultation process the Province identified $27 million as the costs for front line policing to those who currently do not pay. These additional funds could be reinvested in law enforcement. In that regard, it is our recommendation that a portion of those new funds be used offset funding reductions to the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams and distributed to crime prevention and public safety strategies where it is most needed.

The Edmonton Police Commission is concerned there has been little or no progress in implementing the Government of Alberta’s commitment to the new funding model in over three years. Under Alberta’s current model 20 per cent of Albertans pay no direct costs for policing while the tax burden to the citizens of Edmonton is $341 per capita – this is inherently unfair.

In 2011 AAPG passed the following Resolution:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that members of the Alberta Association of Police Governance call upon the Government of Alberta to develop the sustained, equitable and fair funding formula envisioned in the Law Enforcement Framework to address the current inequities in funding for police costs; and

THEREFORE ALSO BE IT RESOLVED that any new funds obtained under a new funding model be reinvested into policing in Alberta.

The Government of Alberta’s response to the 2011 resolution was;

During the Alberta Government 2012 Budget announcement, the government indicated that it "continues to work on a new funding model to distribute the costs of local policing in an equitable, transparent and sustainable manner."

Response: 

The Alberta government continues to explore ways to ensure the costs of local policing are distributed in an equitable, transparent, and sustainable manner. The development of any model will include the examination of the potential for the allocation of any recovered funds. However, Treasury Board is ultimately responsible for this decision.