A study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) on behalf of the Alberta government shows that the proposed Alberta Provincial Police Service (APPS) is not only feasible as a replacement for the RCMP but possibly slightly cheaper.
According to the study, the RCMP currently handles roughly 42 per cent of the population’s policing needs, with the other 58 per cent of the population being protected by municipal police forces.
Based on the current state costs and staffing at a 20 per cent RCMP salary increase, the RCMP costs roughly $742 million, with an additional $41 million being spent on Sheriffs Highway Patrol Costs ($783 million total).
Conversely, the estimated total costs of a proposed Provincial Police Service are estimated to be either $734 million or $758 million, depending on which of the two proposed staff resource models are pursued.
According to the study, these savings would come from reducing RCMP administrative overhead and the efficiencies gained by using the Alberta government’s resources and better integration with municipal police services.
With that said, the PwC estimates that the transition cost of implementing a Provincial Police Service could cost up to $371 million over six years, so whatever savings are ultimately gained will not be felt for over half a decade.
Perhaps more significantly, the study notes that transitioning to a Provincial Police Service could improve the overall quality of policing in the province by improving service levels and having better community input and connections through innovation, community engagement, and collaboration.
Moreover, it would further lessen the influence of Ottawa in Alberta — which is especially relevant given the recent revelation that several charities, environmental NGOs, and government officials have been funded by foreign interests to disrupt and diminish Alberta’s oil industry and economy through strategic activism and various initiatives.
While significant in its findings, the study is not indicative of any future action taken by the government; though, if Premier Jason Kenney has anything to say about it, the APPS could be introduced in 2022.
As for the RCMP, it appears they are already feeling the pressure over even a potential replacement. Just last week, the RCMP’s union moved to stifle any efforts to establish a Provincial Police Service by sneakily trademarking possible names that the Service could use. But the move will likely be unsuccessful in delaying any subsequent government action.