Residents requiring a criminal record check may have noticed a new system in place, requiring them to head to City Hall to pay a fee before heading to the RCMP Detachment for the check.
This change comes after a review of the program, where Council approved a small fee to be implemented moving into early 2022. Research showed that the City’s RCMP clerks were processing an average of 140 criminal record checks every month; that a significant number of these were not being picked up, and the vast majority of municipalities across the province were already charging for criminal record checks. In an effort to enhance accessibility, the City is working with other municipalities and RCMP K-Division on an online criminal record check application process.
“We have a huge group of volunteers in the community, and we understand this is a big change,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “But when we compared to the rest of the province, we realized we needed to get on board with charging at least a small fee.”
Of 24 RCMP Detachments that were canvased, the fees ranged from $20 to $70 for a check. The City of Cold Lake will opted for the lower end, with a standard or student applicant being $25, and any volunteer position being $10 for the check.
This change in fees comes after the local K-Division advised that the number one services provided by RCMP Detachments is the administrative processing of criminal record checks, and that most municipalities had implemented a fee to recoup part of the cost.
The decision was made to accept payment at City Hall before heading down the road to the RCMP Detachment, as the Cold Lake RCMP Detachment cannot process payments. Once the payment has been made, the applicant will receive a receipt they can bring to the RCMP
Detachment for processing the record check.
“We’re thankful to those who have understood and accepted the change when they come by City Hall to pay their fee,” said Copeland. “For those that have been volunteering or working in vulnerable sectors for years, it definitely came as a change.”
To read more about the change in processing criminal record checks, please visit www.coldlake.com/recordchecks