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Macleod mayor confident police college is coming

The mayor of Fort Macleod remains convinced the province is committed to building the Alberta Police and Peace Officer Training Centre in his town. Shawn Patience said there is no indication from Premier Ed Stelmach the police college project is delayed.

“His crime reduction plan, his desire to get gangs off city streets, all hinge on having foot soldiers on the ground,” Patience said. “The need for the training centre is even greater now than it was in 2006 when we were awarded it.”

Patience’s comments came at the Oct. 27 council meeting following outside media projects speculating the province was shelving the police college due to rising costs and the lack of interest from private investors. Patience spoke recently with both the premier and project manager Bill Meade and received assurances the police college will be built in Fort Macleod, and that the first class of recruits will arrive on schedule in the fall of 2010.

“There is no one who is saying the police college has been delayed,” Patience said. “What I am told by the premier, what I am told by the project co-ordinator, is the police college is not delayed.”

Patience was deluged with calls from outside media as well as Fort Macleod residents following the premier’s speech at a Conservative Party fund-raiser in Lethbridge.

“His comments were clearly that because the economy has slowed down, there was an opportunity to build the police college at a lower cost than had been put to them in the spring,” Patience said.

Originally projected to cost $110-million, the police college price tag had risen to an estimated $260-million due to escalating construction and material costs brought on by Alberta’s hot economy. Stelmach was noncommittal when asked by reporters when construction would start on the police college, at which 1,400 police and peace officer recruits will be trained each year.

“When I spoke to the Premier I suggested I was a little disappointed he had not mentioned the police college,” Patience said. “He said that was a speech he would give in Fort Macleod.”

The government is reviewing a short list of potential investors in a public-private partnership to build the police college, and Patience said he was told the project will likely be brought before the finance department prior to development of the province’s 2009 budget.

“There is nothing to indicate the project has been stalled,” Patience said.

Fort Macleod is not the only community keen to see shovels in the ground at the police college site in the southeast corner of Fort Macleod.

“There is no one south of Calgary who isn’t anxious to get this going,” Patience said. “This is not just a Fort Macleod issue. There are a lot of people in Lethbridge and southern Alberta that are pursuing this.”

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Index of Police College Stories - Listed by release date in Gazette

Apr 24 - Fort Macleod town council is planning for the future

Jan 10 - Province gives Fort Macleod $10.26-million for police college costs

Sep 11 - Wildrose Party will fight for Fort Macleod

Sep 04 - Fort Macleod residents devastated by decision to scrap police college

Sep 04 - Fort Macleod asks premier to reverse college decision

Sep 03 - Fort Macleod calls on premier to reverse police college decision

Aug 29 - Residents of Fort Macleod punished for voting Wildrose

Aug 29 - Wildrose says Fort Macleod victim of Tory fiscal incompetence

Aug 29 - Government cancels funding for police training college

Aug 28 - Council awards police college permit

Aug 01 - Police training facility will be unique in Canada

Nov 01 - Province approves grant for police college infrastructure

Oct 19 - Target schedule is set to build police college

Sep 27 - Stakeholders convene to discuss police college

Aug 24 - Police college sod-turning ‘a great day for Fort Macleod’

Aug 16 - Police college sod-turning Mon. Aug. 22

Jul 26 - Fort Macleod puts more cash toward college

May 17 - Province moving ahead with police college plans

May 03 - Council okays transfer of police college land

Apr 05 - Police college site work could start in summer

Dec 01 - Macleod finds way to build police college

Dec 01 - Macleod pitches co-op to build police college

Nov 30 - Macleod feels positive about police college

Aug 25 - Police college partner possible

Aug 18 - Council works on own plan for police college

Jul 07 - Calgary project no threat to police college

Jun 09 - Mayor pushes solicitor general for collect action

Mar 31 - Macleod’s neighbours support police college

Mar 31 - Mayor says government just has to make college a priority

Dec 30 - MD council writes to support police college

Dec 02 - Southern Alberta backs police college

Nov 25 - Regional group lobbies for police college

Sep 23 - Police college has not been shelved — yet

Jul 29 - Mayor: ‘Police college project not cancelled’

May 06 - Infrastructure minister says college a priority

Apr 22 - Facebook page supports police college

Apr 01 - Council lobbies for progress on police college

Feb 18 - Solicitor General urges police college patience

Nov 04 - Police college discussed during Question Period

Nov 04 - Macleod mayor confident police college is coming

Oct 21 - Fort Macleod ‘anxious’ for police college start

Apr 16 - Province gets nine police college proposals

Mar 12 - Macleod can do business with police college

Sep 05 - Province reviews police college P3 proposals

Jun 26 - Police college Web site created

Jun 06 - Police college project is on track

May 30 - Police college officials visit Fort Macleod

May 23 - Police college headlines open house

Mar 28 - Solicitor General: ‘Police college is coming to Macleod’

Jan 31 - Mayor strikes police college committee

Nov 22 - Steering committee meets to discuss police college

Sep 13 - Opportunity knocking for Fort Macleod

Sep 13 - Macleod prepares to guide growth

Sep 13 - Police college is Fort Macleod’s destiny

Sep 13 - Mayor weathers police college criticism

Sep 13 - Fort Macleod celebrates successful college bid

Sep 06 - Fort Macleod lands Alberta police college

Sep 06 - P3 partners sought for police college

Sep 06 - Police training centre will be world-class

Dec 21 - Council designates land for police college

Dec 21 - Macleod’s police college bid in province’s hands

Nov 23 - Task force builds police college bid

Nov 02 - Council still pursuing college