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ASIRT 'working at maximum capacity' amid funding crunch, head of police watchdog says

The head of Alberta's police watchdog agency says it’s strapped for resources as cases pile up faster than investigators can close them.

'It's work that you can't shortcut and that you can't cut corners on'

Susan Hughson, executive director of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), says her agency is strapped for resources amid a heavy workload. (Martin Weaver/CBC)

The head of Alberta's police watchdog agency says it's strapped for resources as cases pile up faster than investigators can close them.

"It's work that you can't shortcut and that you can't cut corners on to try and close these files, because it's important we get the right result in every case," said Susan Hughson, executive director of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT).

So it is difficult and we are all, every member … is working at maximum capacity. Could we use additional resources? Absolutely."

ASIRT investigates incidents involving police in Alberta that have resulted in serious injury or death, as well as allegations of police misconduct.

Hughson says ASIRT has already had 45 cases so far this year.

"We are continuing to fill the positions we have open which is good, and we have asked for additional resources. This is a difficult time in the province in terms of resourcing and we'll wait to see what will happen," she said.

Hughson says it's unclear whether or not potential provincial budget cuts will affect ASIRT.

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