Quit fighting over uniforms and restore the Auxiliary Police program, Kelowna urges | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Quit fighting over uniforms and restore the Auxiliary Police program, Kelowna urges

December 07, 2018 - 5:05 PM

KELOWNA - Acting on recommendations made in the recent McKinnon report on crime in Kelowna, the city is asking all neighbouring municipalities to join them in lobbying the province for the revival of the Auxiliary Police program in time for next summer’s tourist season.

The request will be made to the Regional District of the Central Okanagan board on Monday, Dec. 10.

“In 2015, the RCMP suspended the program over safety concerns,” the draft letter to Premier John Horgan states. “We appreciate that the safety of Auxiliary Constables is vital. We also appreciate the work that has gone into developing the new Program and its rollout in British Columbia is much anticipated.

“But we also understand the Program is being held up because the BC Government and the Federal Government can’t agree on the proposed uniform.”

The McKinnon report – prepared by former Kelowna RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon and presented to Kelowna city council earlier this month - said there used to be 65 volunteers putting in 11,000 hours each year in Kelowna. There is still a program in place but for things like safety presentations.

The report to the regional district says the city of Kelowna is trying to get the regional district and all member municipalities to join in the lobbying effort.

The letter asks Premier Horgan to intervene so the program can be restored and officers trained by May 1, 2019.

It says the city agrees with the province that the uniforms not include the word 'volunteer' so auxiliaries can get the same respect as regular RCMP officers.

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