Penticton plans to hire 3 more RCMP officers in 2022 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton plans to hire 3 more RCMP officers in 2022


Penticton city council has found room in the budget to hire three more RCMP officers next year, which will bring the total at the detachment to 55 in 2022.

In 2020, there were 48 cops on the force and in 2021 there are 52, according to the City’s communication manager Philip Cooper.

In addition to more RCMP officers, next year's budget also provides funding for two more civilian staff, the City stated in a press release issued today, Nov. 24. Furthermore, there will be funding to expand bylaw services by hiring seven new staffers – five bylaw officers, two community safety officers and one more dispatcher. That will allow the bylaw team to extend their hours.

Mayor John Vassilaki said those who are responsible for protecting residents have sent a message that more needs to be done to address the “disorder” in the community.

READ MORE: Penticton's 5% rise in crime largely shoplifting, mischief: RCMP

“The public safety spending council has authorized for 2022 is a direct response to this call to action," Mayor Vassilaki said in the release. "The added funding will help address the demand for service by allowing more calls for policing and bylaw to be answered and responded to during peak hours, seven days a week.

“And while it’s certainly true that preventing issues like crime require a range of solutions supporting not only enforcement, but also addiction, mental health and barriers across society, the decisions made Tuesday are intended to directly target those individuals who willfully exploit gaps in our system to commit brazen and repeat criminal offences.”

While Penticton council was balancing many issues over two days of budget deliberation earlier this week, public safety was the top priority.

The City will be raising taxes by 5.7%. The owner of a home worth $469,909 will be paying $103 more next year. A typical business in Penticton valued at $1,188,696 will be paying $934 more.

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