A new committee is forming to guide the new police college into Fort Macleod.
The first meeting of the new committee being struck by Mayor Shawn Patience is Thursday, Feb. 1.
“This is the committee that will become the Welcome Wagon for the staff and the students, and to make sure the college and the community grow as one,” Patience said.
The solicitor general announced Aug. 30 the $100-million Alberta Police and Peace Officers Training Centre will be built in Fort Macleod.
That decision followed nearly a year of work by a police college task force struck by the mayor to prepare the bid and mobilize the community in support.
“This new committee will be different from the first task force,” Patience said. “It’s going to require a different skill set.”
In conversation with economic development officer Gordon MacIvor, Patience compiled a list of areas of the community to have representation on the police college committee.
Invitations have been extended to RCMP chaplain Noel Wygiera of Christ Church Anglican to represent the Fort Macleod churches; Family and Community Support Services director Varija Prabhakaran; and Frank McTighe, publisher of The Macleod Gazette.
Other groups receiving invitations are the Chamber of Commerce, MD of Willow Creek council, the Blood Tribe, the Piikani Nation and the Fort Macleod RCMP.
Council will be represented and MacIvor will sit on the committee, as will Shawn Wells, municipal manager for the Town of Fort Macleod. Town staff will serve as resource people.
Invitations will also be extended to Chinook Health’s population health department, the Fort Macleod arts community, and a local historian.
“I think they’re all important,” Coun. Brian Reach said.
Patience did not put a limit on the number of people on the committee.
“I’m not so concerned about the number of people so much as who is there,” Patience said. “They have several issues to deal with on the very immediate horizon.”
The college will be the training centre for 1,500 police and peace officer recruits each year.
The college will be built in the southeast corner of Fort Macleod.