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Editor's Note in response to allegations from Vernon RCMP Supt. Jim McNamara

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December 03, 2016 - 10:25 AM

Editor’s note:

• Watch shifts at the Vernon detachment have fallen to as low as three roadable officers.
• The department suffers from chronic understaffing.
• Sources, who we trust and who have knowledge of the situation, say understaffing is creating dangerous work conditions for officers on the road.

That’s what our first story on chronic understaffing at the Vernon RCMP detachment alleged. They remain entirely unaddressed by Supt. Jim McNamara's statement yesterday or by the City of Vernon in its response Thursday.

Supt. McNamara alleges ‘significant inaccuracies’ in our story. We have found one error in our reporting, specifically the number of roadable officers.

He says: “If the city is being billed for 48 it means that on average we've had 48 roadable officers providing operational police services to the City of Vernon.”

That is a clear statement we have no basis to refute. It is also the first time he gave us that direct figure of roadable officers, despite our direct questions. We extrapolated the number was 38 to 40. We have corrected the information and noted the correction where it appeared, as per our policy. While we don't take errors lightly, the error was immaterial to the story. We invite Supt. McNamara to explain his allegation that the "significant error" “compromises both officer and public safety.”

Supt. McNamara also says: “When (reporter Charlotte Helston) contacted me with questions on staffing, overtime and leave I provided her with detailed, factual answers. She literally used less than ten words from what I gave her.”

This is accurate.

Supt. McNamara provided plenty of information, some of which we intended and still intend to use in further reporting on the subject. However, much of the information he has supplied did not aid our efforts to understand the issue facing his officers and the community of Vernon. He refused all requests for interviews for this story.

We share Supt. McNamara's concern for officer and public safety. We look forward to returning to the discussion this story has provoked. 

Mj

Marshall Jones
Editor
iNFOnews.ca

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