October 03, 2016 - 6:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - More than one year after the City of Kamloops approved funding for 10 new officers, those positions may finally be filled, bringing staffing levels in the local detachment to the highest they've been in more than two years.
Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says the additional funding will take the detachment to 130 officers from 120.
"For the past 16 months we have been working with E Division Staffing to have these 10 new positions filled," Shelkie says.
She says the funding was approved in May of last year.
By the end of this month, Shelkie says staffing levels in the detachment will be the highest they've been in the past two-and-a-half years. By January, the detachment is hoping to have 130 officers.
Rob Creasser, spokesperson for the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, says local RCMP detachments have fewer resources available to them.
"Areas policed by the RCMP typically do not have the police resources that other municipal or provincial police agencies do," Creasser says. "Couple that with vacancies in those lower numbers and there are problems."
Creasser believes the Kamloops detachment currently has a 10 to 15 per cent vacancy, while other jurisdictions can face up to 50 per cent vacancy.
It's not yet known what roles the additional officers will be placed in.
"As we have received both experienced officers and officers straight from training, that is difficult to say," Shelkie says. "An officer straight from (the RCMP training centre) must be with a trainer on General Duty for (six) months."
Those new officers may move into different roles after the six months is up, or could stay in general duty.
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