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Police governance association wants increased funding for body-worn camera programs

Posted on August 24, 2023 by Vauxhall Advance

By steffanie constigan
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Four resolutions were passed at the recent annual general meeting (AGM) held by the Alberta Association of Police Governance (AAPG).

The four resolutions passed at the AGM are relevant to the Public Safety Ministry and were provided to Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services, for his consideration. Vice-chair, Interim treasurer, and AAPG conference committee member Ian Sanderson shared the resolutions came from the membership and the preparation members prepare for prior to the AGM.

“These resolutions that were passed at our AGM there; they come from our membership in the AAPG that represents all of the police commissions . . . across the province to sort of that civilian oversight part of policing and police governance.

“We, prior to the AGM we canvass our members for, sort of, the issues of the day and what they would like to see pushed further up the line insofar as awareness and government response in that,” said Sanderson.

AAPG is an association of police commissions dealing with policing committees, advisory committees, and associate municipal members from across Alberta.

The four resolutions passed are to increase funding for body-worn camera programs, a provincial mandate to collect race-based data, oversight systems review between ASIRT and ACPS, and bail reform to enhance community safety.

AAPG is urging the government of Alberta to fund all of the significant portions of the annual operating costs for the body-worn cameras through a new grant. It is reported Calgary’s initial purchase of 1,100 cameras in 2016 was budgeted to cost $1.3 million; the service spent $5 million annually to operate the program.

AAPG’s purpose is to support best practices in civilian governance and assist in the oversight of the police. Sanderson shared the civilian’s attending AGM represent their communities and needs on the police commissions.

“These things come from the grassroots of the communities, the civilians that represent their communities, and act on the police commissions and police committees around the province. And so, this is, this is really grassroots, you know, civilian participation in the policing process.”

Sanderson explained the costs associated with the resolutions which is not something just absorbed by the municipalities.

He said the support to municipalities comes from the taxpayer and the annual cost of projects for maintenance to upkeep.

“There needs to be some ongoing support to the municipalities on these ones because it all comes from the taxpayer, and the municipalities are in a bind on property taxes. I mean, this has a significant impact when you look at the annual cost projected for the maintenance and upkeep and operationalization of such a program.”

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