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Macleod feels positive about police college

The mayor of Fort Macleod is optimistic the police college project is moving ahead.
Shawn Patience said Friday discussions last week with the premier and solicitor general were positive.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do . . . but I’ve got a much more positive feeling,” Patience said.
Patience and councillors Sharon Monical, Susan Koots, Donna Houston, Sharan Randle and Gord Wolstenholme, along with members of the Commonwealth Group hired by council to develop a P3 partnership, met with Solicitor General Frank Oberle and Livingstone-Macleod MLA Evan Berger.
They presented the proposal put together by Commonwealth to form a co-operative to build and manage the police college.
“It was a very honest exchange of information,” Patience said. “He (Oberle) had some questions about the co-op model. He has not excluded that as a possibility. He has not excluded doing this as a government project.”
The province announced in August 2006 the Alberta Police and Peace Officer Training Centre would be built in Fort Macleod to train 1,400 recruits each year.
The police college, which would create 75 to 100 permanent jobs in Fort Macleod, would also be a world-class centre of excellence providing professional development for law enforcement officials from around the world.
The project stalled when the province’s call for a private-public partnership did not attract anyone willing to completely fund the project, estimated to cost more than $200-million.
With the project stalled for close to four years town council hired the Commonwealth Group, a St. Albert-based company experienced in developing P3 partnerships.
Last month Commonwealth officials laid out plans to create a co-op to build and operate the police college.
“He (Oberle) had some concerns but at the same time was optimistic,” Patience said.
Officials from Oberle’s department will now work with the Commonwealth Group to address those concerns over the coming weeks.
While in Edmonton the Fort Macleod delegation took the opportunity to discuss the police college with cabinet ministers and MLAs.
“I think every one, to a person, was optimistic and well aware of this project,” Patience said. “Those two things haven’t happened for a while.”
Council also got from Oberle the good news he has $4-million to put a plan together to build the college.
“That’s real money and that’s really important,” Patience said.
Patience also spoke to Premier Ed Stelmach about the project.
“He was very positive,” Patience said. “The common thread throughout the week was the premier wants this done, and he wants it done sooner rather than later.”
The positive response from the politicians helped as council navigated icy Highway 2 on the trip home.
“We all came home with a much more optimistic feeling than we’ve had for a very long time,” Patience said.
Council will continue to work with Commonwealth to flesh out plans to form a co-op.
Fort Macleod officials will also follow the province’s next budget deliberations closely to see if any money is allocated for the police college.
“I think the goal of all of us – Commonwealth, council and the solicitor general – is to get this done,” Patience said. “The premier echoed that sentiment.”

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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