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Municipal Police Commission bylaw moves to council for approval

A proposed Police Commission bylaw is being sent to city council for approval as the City of Grande Prairie moves forward with the next steps of forming a municipal police service.

On March 14th the Public and Protective Services Committee reviewed the bylaw and recommended it be sent to city council. If council approves the bylaw, then the process can move forward to form an independent commission that would oversee the police force from an “arm’s length.” The proposed bylaw outlines there will be between five to 12 members who will make up the commission. These members would be appointed by council and would serve up to a three-year term. The bylaw also outlines that no more than two city employees or members of city council can serve on the commission.

Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton says in a release the proposed bylaw is the next step to increase local responsiveness and oversight in the city.

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“A high-functioning police commission is an essential part of a successful local police service and council looks forward to discussing this further,” Clayton says.

Along with providing oversight, the commission’s responsibilities outlined in the proposed bylaw would include establishing policies for effective and efficient policing, appointing a Chief of Police and officers, and designating a Public Complaints Director. The commission would also be in charge of allocating funds and ensuring the police service has sufficient staffing.

According to the Alberta Police Act, a local police commission is required for a municipal service.

The bylaw will go before city council for approval on March 20th.

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