Are Calgary Cops Too Effective on Crime?

According to a report from the frequently-conservative Fraser Institute, Calgary's police have been very effective when it comes to preventing crime. That's good news for Calgary citizens, who can be thankful for a plummeting overall crime rate, but is it bad news for the cops themselves?

The report suggests that the number of Calgary cops is now too high given the low crime rates the city enjoys. This makes the Calgary Police an inefficient government expense, according to the Institute, which has recommended reducing the number of officers on the beat.

Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson sharply disagrees with the Fraser Institute's reports, citing both inaccurate means of measuring expenses and poor logic behind the conclusions.

“It strikes me as using old, old criteria, suggesting the higher the crime rate, the more money you get instead of ‘you guys should be rewarded for reducing crime,’” he said.

According to the report, the Calgary police force increase 8.7% from 2001 to 2012, and the crime rate fell by 26.3% over the same period. While the Fraser Institute argues that this substantial decline in crime warrants cuts to the department, the Calgary police maintain that they are very budget conscious and cost-effective.

No action is likely to be taken as a result of the Institute's report, and the Calgary police are seeking to increase neighborhood beats modeled after those that have proven successful in Forest Lawn.

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