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College to provide standard training for recruits

A new provincial police college will provide standard training for all recruits.
The drive toward a provincial police college began in 2002 in Alberta when an MLA review committee recommended establishment of a single training site for police and peace officers.
“The police forces are all doing an excellent job, but there is no real single standard across the province,” said Andy Wieler, director of communications for the Solicitor General’s department.
The process started in 2002 has led to Fort Macleod, Lac La Biche, Camrose and Red Deer as the finalists as the site for the $100-million college.
The Solicitor General’s department embraced the idea of standard training for police and peace officers in Alberta, which is one of only two provinces that do not have a central training site.
“The base set of knowledge will be the same,” Wieler said of the outcome.
The college is expected to provide basic training each year for 350 to 400 police and peace officer recruits.
In addition, another 1,000 peace officer recruits Ñ including special constables, private investigators, security guards and corrections officers Ñ will also be provided each year.
“There will be ongoing professional development at the site as well,” Wieler said of training that is expected to draw 1,200 veteran police and peace officers each year to the college. The college is expected to include on-site accommodations, administrative and instructor offices, classrooms, an auditorium, a library, computer labs and a cafeteria.
In addition there will be athletic and recreational space, indoor and outdoor firing ranges, driver training courses and storage areas.
One of the province’s goals in building the college is to eliminate the duplication of training services provided by police forces.
The province contends the college will allow police forces to cut costs associated with training.
“Which in turn will mean they can put more front-line officers on the street,” Wieler said. “That’s a benefit to the police services, and its a benefit to the communities they’re working in.”
Wieler said the site selection committee was instructed to find a site for the college that provided room for growth.
Alberta’s booming economy is driving the need for more law enforcement officers. There is also the possibility the college will be opened to the military for training.
At present plans are for police services and other agencies to send their recruits to the college.
However, there may be opportunity for people to attend college on their own initiative, and then apply for jobs with the police forces of their choice.
“That’s one of the things we’re still working on,” Wieler said.
The Solicitor General’s department also can’t provide specifics on the impact the college will have on criminal justice programs, such as the one offered at Lethbridge Community College.
“It’s a little early to tell,” Wieler said. “We have someone who is looking at curriculum for the (college). We’ll just have to wait and see.”
No deadline has been set for the opening of the college.
“We’re really just focusing on the next step, which is selecting the site,” Wieler said.

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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

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