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Kamloops News

Vernon RCMP Supt. responds to 'RISK IT OUT'

Supt. Jim McNamara
December 03, 2016 - 10:15 AM


I am concerned by significant inaccuracies that could compromise both officer and public safety, in the November 30th Infonews article by Charlotte Helston on RCMP staffing in Vernon.

To set the record straight, I do not believe chronic under staffing is leaving our police officers or the public in danger. Ms. Helston’s article is largely based on information from anonymous sources.  Unfortunately anonymous sources, or those not working within our environment, don’t have to account for misinformation they're providing.  When she 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.

Ms. Helston acknowledges the City of Vernon is paying for 48 officers then states "estimates would indicate the number of roadable officers is closer to 38 or 40." During my public budget presentation to council on November 30, I advised we are working to increase the number of police officers to the 50 approved by council. We presently have 57 officers in the 56 established positions, however due to illness, injuries and administrative leave, we're billing for 48 officers. 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.

Furthermore, ours is a regional integrated detachment which re-deploys resources amongst our five detachment areas as required. Vernon has established minimum resource levels and our Watch Commanders have the authority to call in overtime resources.

After a rigorous analysis of shifting demands, this year we adjusted shift schedules and resources to re-deploy general duty officers to peak policing hours.  This will decrease response time to priority calls and increase time available for pro-active policing. Ms. Helston was provided with this information and chose not to share it.

Finally, as a result of the excellent work being done by our officers, the numbers are going in the right direction.  From 2014-2015 there was a 2% decrease in the overall Crime Severity index in Vernon and this year from January to August we’ve actually seen a 5.9% decrease in violent crime compared to last year.

Vernon has a police detachment of extremely competent, capable and dedicated employees. I’m very proud of the work they do to keep our community safe.

Supt. J.B. McNamara
Officer in Charge
Vernon/North Okanagan Detachment

For our response to this letter, go here.

News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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