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City department lives up to name

Kamloops Fire Rescue saw over 6,000 calls in 2012, with more than 4,100 of those for medical aid.
April 17, 2013 - 10:11 AM

There was a lot of change in 2012 for corporate services and community safety. They include a name change and a new department director, who says he's proud of services delivered through the tansitions that they can continue to provide on a daily basis.

David Duckworth moved from his position as public works director to fill the seat of long-time city staffer and former director Len Hrycan when he retired in the fall. During the realignment the information technology area was moved to the formerly named corporate and community services department.

Dog statistics have changed drastically in 2012 as well. There was a 25 per cent increase in dog bites to humans, up to 40 in 2012. Some other notable changes to dog bylaw statistics was an increase in calls about "too many dogs" – more than a 200 per cent increase from 2010 – and a jump from 7,389 dog licenses issued in 2011 to 7,813 in 2012.

Public complaints and safety concerns stemming from panhandling and loitering resulted in 68 calls. Only 18 were made in 2011.

Water violation complaints saw a drop in 2012 from 350 to 150 and better awareness is believed a factor in the decline. While less complaints were made of people sprinkling their lawns on the wrong days or at the wrong time, the number of violations issued in 2012 increased to 40 from 33 in 2011.

Coun. Donovan Cavers half-jokingly asked whether the city might be able to “pursue damages” from the lost revenue and increased costs that resulted from a change in coin weight and measurement made by the Canadian Mint. The over $55,000 in ticket and meter revenue losses are attributed at least in part to issues with the coin recalibration. There was also a 23 per cent increase in faulty meter calls last year.

As well, the city deals with Kamloops Fire Rescue and the local RCMP branch and some interesting numbers came from those departments. Less than two per cent of calls to Kamloops fire are for actual structure fires and 68 per cent – more than 4,000 calls – are for medical aid. The dispatch centre sent or received nearly 122,000 emergency-related phone calls and radio transmissions in 2012.

The RCMP detachment houses an average of nine prisoners daily and incidents in many of the crime categories dropped. There was a seven per cent reduction in crimes against both person and property. Criminal code and traffic violations also saw a reduction. Violations under the controlled drugs and substance  act increased by more than 12 per cent while other federal statute violations increased by 82 per cent. In total a 5.2 per cent overall decrease was seen in violations over 2011 for a grand total of 13,358 violations.

Even with a reduction over previous years in many categories, the RCMP detachment receives over 95,200 phone calls, has more than 20,000 front counter clients and generates over 26,000 files per year. A total of forty constable volunteers put in close to 10,000 hours annually, saving the city approximately $600,000.

To contact a reporter for this story, email or call (250) 819-3723.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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