Edmonton

Chief Rod Knecht asks for 100 more police officers by 2016

More police officers will be needed to patrol downtown Edmonton as the arena district and other pockets of development take hold, says Chief Rod Knecht.

Officers needed to patrol arena district, bigger and busier downtown , Knecht says

Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht says downtown development is driving the need for nearly 100 more police officer. (CBC News)

More police officers will be needed to patrol downtown Edmonton as the arena district and other pockets of development take hold, says Chief Rod Knecht.  

“Edmonton is not only growing out, its growing up and that's a different dynamic for us,” he said. “The number of people that are going to be living downtown, playing downtown, working downtown ... it's going to change considerably.”

Knecht is asking city council to have nearly 100 new officers fully trained by the summer of 2016. Many of those officers will be assigned to a downtown beat team, he said.

“That's a big ask, but we've got a five-year plan in place so we have anticipated the growth in the city ... and what we need to deliver on public safety and community expectations.”

Knecht told reporters Wednesday that Edmonton is the only major Canadian city where the violent crime rate is on the rise with sexual assault and domestic violence leading the way.

Knecht is also asking council for a new police helicopter.

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