The Grande Prairie Police Service (GPPS) has taken over the city’s Enforcement Services and Mobile Outreach departments as part of its transition plan to become the primary police service in the city. 

In March 2023, city council decided to create a municipal police service instead of continuing to use the RCMP.

“Our goal is to send the right people with the right solutions at the right time,” says GPPS Chief Dwayne Lakusta. 

“We want to leverage every available agency, group, and resource contributing to public safety to create a more integrated response model while working closely with the RCMP during this transition.”  

The policing transition in the city is expected to take a total of five years, with GPPS officers deploying sometime this year. 

“Conceptually, we are designing a non-traditional policing model, taking a holistic approach to community safety and wellbeing,” said the chief. 

“We will develop partnerships with professionals who work on the frontlines of mental health and addiction and homelessness and embed municipal enforcement within our deployment model.” 

Enforcement Services and Mobile Outreach employees will continue in their current positions just as before the transition to GPPS. 

According to the Police Transition Report, Enforcement Services has about 33 full-time employees, and Mobile Outreach has 13.5 full-time equivalent employees. 

GPPS says in a news release that changes to deployment can be expected to “build a more responsive service with a more robust presence in key areas.”

Enforcement Services encompasses many city services, including bylaw enforcement, the public security unit, bicycle registration, peace officers, animal control, and photo enforcement (Automated Traffic Enforcement).

“Enforcement Services and Mobile Outreach are key teams that continue to make a vital difference in our community,” said Mayor Jackie Clayton. 

“We look forward to supporting their ongoing success as part of the transition to GPPS and our commitment to a public safety response uniquely built to our community’s needs.” 

Keep an eye out in a future issue as more information on the GPPS transition is coming soon as Town & Country News has scheduled an interview with Chief Lakusta. 

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jan 11, 2024 at 10:23

This item reprinted with permission from   Town & Country News   Beaverlodge, Alberta

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