Independent traffic collision reporting centres would allow Edmonton police officers to devote more time to other calls, the city’s top cop says.
In a Facebook Live Thursday morning, Edmonton police chief Dale McFee discussed his last two-and-a-half years as chief and initiatives the service is working on to address crime and social disorder particularly in the city’s downtown, as well as making better use of resources.
One of the issues McFee discussed was speeding and traffic safety. He said the service wants to free up resources to apply them elsewhere, and one way to do that is through collision reporting centres.
“We spend a lot of time, a lot of our officers’ time taking collision reports,” McFee said.
“So, we’re looking at now, in the very near future, contracting that out with an independent body, which frees up a lot of our officers’ time to be back on the road.”
He said this would be a smart investment with officers spending less time on reports, they are able to be more visible, instead of having to increase the number of officers.
McFee also said the police service is continuing to ask for legislation from the province to be able to seize a vehicle if a driver goes 50 kilometres over the speed limit, rather than hand out tickets.
“A lot of them can afford the tickets, you take the vehicle away, it changes the way the behaviour is and so we need that mechanism for these severe offences,” he said, adding other provinces have similar legislation in place which has been seen as a deterrent.
The Alberta government, however, rejected previous calls for a change to legislation to allow for vehicle seizure back in May 2020.
“There’s a lot of science and evidence around how this actually starts to curb the behaviour so that’s something we’re still hopeful that the province may look at,” McFee said.
McFee also noted stolen vehicles are being used to commit crime.
“I think we’ve had up to 87 or 90 guns taken out of these stolen vehicles, those stolen vehicles are something that we’re really working with prosecutions (on),” he said. “Those also need to be taken seriously.”