City's approval of more police officers in Kamloops is just one step toward getting them - InfoNews

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City's approval of more police officers in Kamloops is just one step toward getting them

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December 08, 2017 - 5:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - Kamloops City Council unanimously approved additional funding for more officers in the Kamloops RCMP detachment, but getting boots on the ground isn’t going to come easy or quickly. It could take up to one year before Kamloops RCMP sees the increase in officers it’s requesting.

Detachment Supt. Brad Mueller says now that council has approved the funding, there are still more steps to take. First, the City will write a letter of support regarding the increase, which will go to the provincial level and eventually Ottawa.

“Once that’s been approved and signed off, then under the municipal policing agreement and the contract, it’s up to one year to fill those numbers,” he says.

Even then, it could be a challenge. For years, the national police force has been struggling to attain its full strength, often being scaled back in real numbers by administrative, maternity, sick and other leaves from duty and challenges around recruitment. 

Kamloops is competing with communities across the country for every new officer coming out of RCMP Depot.

“Every detachment in the province is being asked to run a little bit short,” Mueller says. “The challenge is… to make sure that’s balanced out so that all the detachments can deliver on their mandates.”

The last available numbers provided by the Kamloops RCMP show they bill roughly 120 officers to the city, a far cry from the 130 officers they are approved for. Mueller wants 130 officers on the ground as soon as possible, but to do that the process had to get a bit more complicated. There are established positions and funded positions for the RCMP.

The established positions are the number of assigned positions to the detachment, whereas the funded positions are what the City actually funds. It’s the number of officers we see on the ground.

To increase the number of officers on the ground, the number of established positions has to be increased. As pointed out in the council meeting, Mueller has a good track record of bringing more RCMP officers to the detachment.

Two years ago, the detachment’s billable rate to the city was roughly 105 to 107 officers.

“One of my priorities is to make sure that we have the appropriate staffing levels,” Mueller says. “We’ve worked very hard in order to attract both experienced and junior members because I think it’s good to have that balance.”

Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says another strain on resources is having officers being promoted and transferred out of the detachment, which means more spots are needed to be filled.

Specifics around staffing levels haven't been released by Kamloops RCMP due to concerns around public and officer safety, but Mueller says the RCMP does give an enclosed report to council which shows in detail where the numbers lie.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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