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Solicitor General urges police college patience

Solicitor General Fred Lindsay is appealling to Fort Macleod residents for continued patience.

In a letter to council Lindsay stressed work is continuing on the Alberta Police and Peace Officer Training Centre.

“I do recognize and acknowledge the frustration your community is experiencing with respect to the length of time in which this project is unfolding,” Lindsay wrote. “As you can appreciate, an initiative of this magnitude requires detailed and thoughtful planning.”

The province announced in August 2006 it would build the college in Fort Macleod, with the first crop of 1,400 police and peace officer recruits to arrive in the fall of 2010.

Fort Macleod Mayor Shawn Patience recently wrote Premier Ed Stelmach to express concern the police college project is not moving ahead.

“I very much tried to purvey in that letter we’re actually losing some of the benefit with the delay in this project,” Patience said at the Feb. 9 council meeting. “We need them to support it.”

In his letter to council Lindsay explained that an expression of interest for the police college was released in January 2008.

“Responses from the private sector indicated that there was no interest in assuming the risk of a new privately owned training facility in Fort Macleod without a greater commitment from the provincial government,” Lindsay explained.

Lindsay added the results of the expression of interest led his department’s special projects unit to complete a draft business case outlining options for both funding and construction.

“The business case will be forwarded to government for consideration,” Lindsay explained.

Alberta director of law enforcement Bill Meade, who is heading up the police college project, was in Fort Macleod on Saturday for the Alberta Rural Crime Watch annual general meeting.

“The long and short of it is the market challenges that we’re all experiencing, whether we’re in the oil business or the farm business or whatever business we’re in,” Meade said.

Meade said the economic downswing is the reason for the delay.

“We’re running into some significant uncertainties in the market place,” Meade said. “That’s a challenge we’re not going to shy away from, but it really is a challenge.”

Patience noted there have been discussions about the province tapping into new infrastructure money made available by the federal government.

“That does make some sense,” Patience said. “Perhaps they could find some way to make that work.”

Lindsay in his letter noted the project’s importance.

“There is little doubt that this project will indeed have an immediate benefit for the Fort Macleod region, and in the long term all Albertans will benefit from a world-class police and peace office training centre,” Lindsay added.

Patience agreed the project is important to Fort Macleod, the region and the province.

“I do know this project is very important to Fred Lindsay,” Patience added. “I know Fred is doing his utmost to get this project moving forward. It is important to everybody.”

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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