Do We Really Need More Calgary Police?

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Do We Really Need More Calgary Police?

Some members of the Calgary Police force are clamoring for more officers, but is that really the right solution?

According to Metro, some cops on the beat have complained of staffing shortages that leave with with patrols as low as 50% of what they're supposed to be. Calgary Police officials have protested that those numbers are isolated occurrences taking place only in certain Calgary patrols and only at certain times, and that on a city-wide and 'round-the-clock basis the staffing levels are actually much higher, but that's cold consolation to both the officers and the communities affected by the staffing shortfall.

Hiring more police officers might not be the best answer for Calgary, however. The department has plenty of funding and plenty of personnel, by most accounts; it's more an issue of allocating those resources more effectively. More officers on patrol might mean taking several from the many special task forces the Calgary Police Service has created, and this might actually do a lot of good for all concerned.

Community policing, where law enforcement maintains an active and friendly presence and earns the trust of the people they serve and protect, is far better at preventing crime than having special teams of highly feared criminal justice officers sweeping through the streets. Right now, the Calgary Police are caught in a vicious cycle of alienating communities rather than strengthening them, and adding more officers is unlikely to change that fact.