Categorized | Police College

Police college liaison committee starts work

The $110-million police college will be built in Fort Macleod, the new liaison committee heard Thursday.

Livingstone-Macleod MLA David Coutts said there is no substance to rumours the Progressive Conservative government will renege on the commitment made Aug. 30.

“We got a commitment from Premier Ed Stelmach that Fort Macleod was the site, after a fair process,” Coutts said. “That decision has been made and will be upheld by the government.”

Twenty people attended the first meeting of the liaison committee struck by Fort Macleod Mayor Shawn Patience.

In his opening remarks in the Green Room of the Empress Theatre, Patience stressed the importance of the work the liaison committee will do.

“This is the largest thing that has ever happened to our town,” Patience told the people representing a broad spectrum of the community. “It was quite a coup.”

Former solicitor General Harvey Cenaiko announced Aug. 30 the Alberta Police and Peace Officers Training Centre will be built in Fort Macleod.

The police college will create 75 to 100 permanent jobs in Fort Macleod, and will bring to the community each year 1,500 police and peace officer recruits.

Coutts told committee members the government will pay attention to the activities in Fort Macleod now that the decision has been made to build the college.

“This community has got to get excited about the opportunity that is presented,” Coutts said of a comment made by new Solicitor General Fred Lindsay. “He wants to see the community get involved, and I promised him we would.”

Attending the liaison committee’s first meeting in addition to Patience and Coutts were RCMP Sgt. Dennis Eidet, Chamber of Commerce treasurer Jim Monteith, MD of Willow Creek chief administrative officer Cynthia Vizzutti and Shawn Wells, municipal manager for the Town of Fort Macleod.

Also attending were Fort Macleod councillors Mike Bourassa and Christine Trowbridge, economic development officer Gordon MacIvor, EDC chairman Troy Bond, and Allen Eli Wolf Tail and Ivan Healy of Blood Tribe Police.

Fort Macleod Family and Community Support Services director Varija Prabhakaran, Stasha Donahue and Ronda Reach of Chinook Health’s population health department, F.P. Walshe school principal Don O’Neill, Noel Wygiera, Riet Kleissen, Bernadette McNab and Frank McTighe were also in attendance.

Patience told the committee the police college, which is to be done through a private-public partnership (P3), is similar to a mall.

“The Solicitor General’s department will be the anchor tenant,” Patience said.

Among the first tasks the liaison committee must do, with input from town and district, is address four questions posed by the police college steering committee:

  • What can Fort Macleod provide as far as supply and services to the police college?
  • In the police college, what facilities could the community use?
  • What facilities in Fort Macleod and district are available for use by the police college?
  • What are the soft or intangible assets in the community that are available to the police college?

Committee members are compiling answers to those questions, and will welcome input from the public to MacIvor at the Main Street Office.

Patience told the committee that geotechnical work on the police college site in the southeast corner of town could begin this year.

The first recruits are expected to arrive at the college in the fall of 2010.

“It seems like it’s a long way away, but it is a very short time in real terms,” Patience said.

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