Types of policing

Three types of policing are used in Alberta:

provincial
municipal
First Nations

Provincial policing

The Alberta government contracts the RCMP to deliver provincial police services to:

  • every town, village and summer village that has a population of 5,000 or less
  • every county, municipal district and Métis settlement no matter how many citizens it has

Provincial policing is paid for through the Provincial Police Service Agreement between the Alberta government and federal government – at a ratio of 70% and 30%, respectively. This agreement is valid until 2032 and costs the Alberta government over $200 million each year.

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RCMP organization

The RCMP in Alberta is organized as follows:

  • RCMP headquarters, called ”K” Division, is located in Edmonton – it’s led by a commanding officer
  • there are four RCMP districts (east, west, central, south) – each one is led by a district commander who reports to the commanding officer of “K” Division
  • each RCMP district is divided into detachments – each one is led by a detachment commander

Municipal policing

A municipality with more than 5,000 citizens must provide and pay for its own police service.

There are three options for municipal policing:

  • two or more municipalities sign an agreement to be policed by one regional police service
  • a municipality creates its own independent police service – eg, Calgary, Edmonton, Lacombe
  • a municipality pays the federal government, the Alberta government, or another municipality to deliver police services (this often involves a policing agreement) – eg, Canmore, Fort Saskatchewan, Hinton

Over 40 communities in Alberta contract their municipal police services directly from the federal government through the Municipal Police Service Agreement.

Police grants

To help cover the costs of municipal policing, the Alberta government provides municipalities with funds through the:

First Nations policing

The RCMP delivers policing services to most First Nations communities in Alberta. However, a number of these communities have worked with the Alberta government and federal government to make one of these other policing arrangements:

Learn more about First Nations policing.