by Morinville News Staff
A spike in homicides resulted in RCMP working in overdrive and overtime last year. In 2015, investigators responded to 65 homicides compared to 36 in 2014.
The 80 per cent increase in 2015 was substantially higher than the 10-year average of 40 homicides within the province’s 112 RCMP detachments. RCMP statistics show 2007 had the fewest homicides over the past decade with 22.
“Homicide cases take real commitment on the part of the employees involved. Last year, that saw them working longer hours – often away from home – under the saddest of circumstances – just to keep up,” said Chief Superintendent Gary Steinke, Officer-in-Charge of the Alberta RCMP Serious Crimes Branch in a release Wednesday. “Sheer determination to see justice done for the victims was what kept folks going, and this is reflected in the high solve rate they achieved.”
Of 2015’s 65 homicide files, RCMP report they concluded 45 of the investigations. Police report seven perpetrators committed suicide before they could be arrested and charged. Investigations are ongoing in the remaining cases.
Thus far, RCMP has been called upon to investigate six homicides in Alberta’s RCMP jurisdictions.
The Major Crime Unit (MCU), based in Edmonton and Calgary, have 60 homicide investigators. They are dispatched once RCMP personnel from the local detachment have responded to the location, dealt with immediate public safety threats, and secure the crime scene. Additionally, Forensic Identification Services (FIS) personnel also attend the scene from one of 10 locations in the province to collect and process evidence.
Additionally, there are three teams of six investigators and nine civilian employees who work in the Historical Homicide Unit, working on 200 unsolved homicides dating back to 1983.