City faces surprise $282,000 RCMP bill
The plan to upgrade and expand video cameras at the local RCMP detachment has brought out an unusual rebuke of the provincial government by Kamloops’ top politician.
Mayor Peter Milobar is incensed at a request for city council to approve spending $282,000 to install new digital-surveillance and recording equipment in the Kamloops RCMP’s Battle Street detachment.
As a result of a coroner’s inquest in 2007, the provincial government has required all police agencies in B.C. to meet specific standards for closed-circuit cameras where all detainees are held.
Milobar said he has no problem ensuring there are safety precautions in the detachment, but he blasted the government for not consulting with municipalities about the decision.
“It gets a little tiring,” he said.
“We don’t have a choice.”
He noted the city got stiffed with an extra $600,000 bill from Ottawa in this year’s budget as part of a superannuation agreement.
“It just seems to be one thing after the other where decisions get made on equipment and procedures everyone would like to see, and it’s everyone who’s ultimately not paying the bill,” Milobar said.
Council approved the request, but also planned to send a letter voicing its concerns to local MLAs and the province’s solicitor general.
Exactly what the city will be getting for its $300,000 is not exactly known.
Wayne Fredin, the municipal support-services manager for the RCMP, told KTW the project is out to tender and, therefore, he was unable to provide exact details.
The city’s RCMP support-services division noted the expansion of cameras is needed not only in the detachment’s cellblock, but anywhere in the building where a detained person might be.
Fredin, who is unsure of how many cameras are now in operation in the detachment, said the department arrived at the $282,000 figure after undertaking preliminary planning.
He said the cost will include the cameras, installation, labour and a storage system for the information.
“It’s quite extensive in our detachment as it would be in any detachment,” Fredin said.
The city is covering the cost of the expansion through its police-reserve fund.
The new video-camera system must be in place by fall 2012.