Under the Police Act, the Alberta government is responsible for providing police services for those municipalities with populations of 5,000 or less, and to all municipal districts and counties. The province meets this obligation by contracting for the services of the RCMP to deliver police services to these municipalities, through the Provincial Police Service Agreement (PPSA), signed between the Alberta and federal governments.
Prior to 2020, these police services were provided at no direct cost to the municipalities served. Beginning in 2020, the province will recoup a portion of its costs under the PPSA (see the New Police Costing Model section here for more details).
As per the PPSA, the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, in cooperation with the Commanding Officer of the RCMP "K" Division, establishes provincial policing priorities annually in the form of a three-year business plan. The agreement provides that the minimum standard of policing by the provincial police service must meet the standard as determined by the Commissioner of the RCMP in consultation with the Minister.
Under the PPSA, the province is responsible for 70 per cent of the cost of policing while the federal government pays 30 per cent. The PPSA also provides police services to Métis settlements, and to First Nations communities where other policing arrangements have not been made.
Some urban municipalities with populations of 5,000 or less have contracted the RCMP for enhanced policing to deal with special situations, or have either by themselves or in cooperation with other municipalities retained Peace Officers to provide an additional policing presence in their communities.