News / Edmonton

'We’ll just have to be flexible': EPS asks for staff boost for upcoming annexation

Edmonton Police Service has asked for $4.3 million dollars to recruit 25 new members to better serve the annexed land

Superintendent Chad Tawfik at Edmonton City Hall on Monday.

Kashmala Fida / Metro Web Upload

Superintendent Chad Tawfik at Edmonton City Hall on Monday.

City council is taking more time to discuss Edmonton Police Service’s request for additional staff to cover areas that will become part of Edmonton after annexation from Leduc County.

The Edmonton Police Service has asked the city for $4.3 million, split over two years, to add 25 constable positions across patrol, traffic and specialized resources.

At a Community and Public Services Committee meeting on Monday, EPS Superintendent Chad Tawfik said it takes eight months to recruit and train an officer, while the annexation agreement will take effect in two months.

“If January 1 is the official date then we’ll be a little bit behind,” he said. “That’s why we are coming forward to say this is what we need to get this in place.

“Now as things move along, we understand that the timeline for annexation can change. We’ll just have to be flexible to change with the city.”

Mayor Don Iveson pointed out in the committee meeting that the city will initially only receive a tax revenue of $500,000 from the annexed land, which is not enough.

"So to spend eight times that on law enforcement alone, and we would also have to clear roads and begin to invest in infrastructure, it’s on its own a bit of a tough sell," he said.

Although he agreed that council did not want to compromise the police serving the city.

Tawfik said if city council does not agree to the proposed increase, they will continue to provide the best service they can based on their resources.

“But we have to come forward and say when you increase the city’s geography by 12 per cent, there is going to be impacts and we are going to have to be able to respond,” he said.

Council has requested more updated information and will refer back to it in February, 2018.

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