CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Calgary’s proposed four-year budget indicates the police service will be updating its infrastructure in order to be more effective at fighting crime, especially as the population grows.
According to deputy chief Paul Cook, the Calgary Police Service is short-staffed by about a 100 officers, and there’s a significant boost in funding in 2021 to hire them.
“They want to see more of us,” he said Friday. “We need to be more present within the communities. The larger we get, the more we may have to look at how we deploy our resources.
“Staffing, we believe, is certainly adding to the morale issues that we have within our service right now.”
At this point, there are no plans to close any more stations.
“Moving forward, we have to look for other ways to be effective,” he explained.
That could include reducing response to non-emergency calls such as minor collisions.
Cook added drugs like fentanyl and meth have driven a rise in crime, meaning they’ll be teaming up with other agencies.
“Everything from Alberta Health Services to some key partners within the city, whether it’s by-law, community neighbourhood services — it has to be a collaborative effort, and that’s something that’s fully supported through council.”
There’s also $11-million earmarked to replace helicopters and $7.5-million for computer equipment.
“The complexity of crime has changed. There are few crimes now that don’t have some sort of cyber component to it.”