||The provincial government introduced the Public Security Peace Officer Program in 2007 to provide different levels of government and quasi-government with the authority to employ peace officers for community safety enhancement or specialized law enforcement purposes. Governed by the Peace Officer Act, the program allows the provincial government to designate agencies as employers of peace officers and to give individuals peace officer status for specific job functions. Authorized employers of peace officers must properly manage their programs in accordance with the Act.
The program provides for a wide range of duties and functions and identifies four categories of peace officer. The program is designed to ensure minimum standards of training, accountability and professionalism.
||The Public Security Peace Officer Program has several objectives:
- provide supplemental law enforcement in the province of Alberta;
- improve coordination, communication, cooperation and collaboration between police and peace officers to enhance law enforcement services in Alberta;
- clarify roles, responsibilities and accountability; and
- establish consistent and improved provincial standards for the safety and security of all communities.
||This initiative has met its objectives in providing Alberta with accountable, supplemental law enforcement as well as enhanced oversight and standardization of peace officer functions. Consultations with stakeholders in early 2011 indicated that this program has greatly improved communication with Albertans regarding their law enforcement partners in the province.
This initiative is unique in Canada, but other provinces have shown interest in adopting it as a model for improving community safety and supplementing police services.
||Initial start-up costs included the salaries of personnel required to implement the program, including three dedicated administrative staff, one team leader and six investigators, one public complaints coordinator, one training analyst and one manager (for a total estimated cost of $600,000). Staff provide administrative support to authorized employers of peace officers and ensure proper oversight of the program.
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