The Kamloops RCMP detachment is strengthening communication, getting more tech savvy and adapting from the COVID-19 pandemic as it looks forward to changes in policing in 2022.
In the past couple years the police detachment has established both internal and external communication plans, Supt. Syd Lecky told KTW.
He said the Kamloops RCMP have been trying to be more responsive in releasing information publicly about crimes and requests for tips through their spokesperson and via the City of Kamloops.
“There’s been an increased effort stay connected,” the detachment commander said, adding he has yet to turn down a media interview.
Beyond that, Lecky noted he also communicates regularly with city council as well as community groups that bring issues to his attention.
Internally, the detachment has standardized how it communicates through its management structure, in an effort to modernize and connect.
“It’s time, and it helps to give guidance,” Lecky said. “For everybody to know what direction you’re heading in, you have to be able to communicate and we realize that more today then it has been in the past with the generation we work with. You just always have to get your message out.”
Message boards is one new way the detachment disseminates information through its ranks, keeping everyone up to date on things such as prolific offenders, crime hot spots and policing priorities.
The detachment also established new committees in recent years — a constables committee for officers looking to bring up operational issues on an anonymous basis, and a wellness committee which addresses the mental health and well being of officers and support staff.
The communication plan formalizes the process for communication within the Kamloops RCMP.
“Before that it was kind of haphazard,” Lecky said. “This puts it in play to say this is how the rules of engagement [work]” which is primarily for supervisors and management, as opposed to constables.
Meanwhile, some of the strategies used during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic by the Kamloops RCMP will be sticking around.
Lecky said officers working out of the North Shore detachment that would call in to briefings at the Battle Street detachment will continue to do so rather than attend in person, enabling police to be more responsive on the North Shore, Lecky told KTW.
Several vehicles are now equipped with wireless uploading capabilities — ensuring the completeness of footage as the cameras stop recording once full — something that’s been a priority for the fleet for years Lecky said.
Lucky is also looking forward to RCMP being equipped with body cameras for the first time ever in 2022, something he said could change the way they do police work, and help exonerate officers faced with public complaints.
The top cop is also excited to begin working with a fully staffed Community Service Office (formerly bylaws).
“That’s going to be a good opportunity for us to take some pressure off us and provide a better public safety service to the community,” Lecky said.
With the revamped department police are working more collaboratively on issues with Community Service Officers, which will act as extra eyes and ears on the street and attend RCMP meetings so as to stay abreast of of police activity.
Additionally, Lecky is looking forward to hearing what B.C.’s attorney general has to say regarding an application he received from a local group calling for the establishment of a community court in Kamloops.
Community courts uses an integrated approach to assessing and managing an offender’s sentence that more involves the community and social services in the process.
“It’s something that we think is very much needed to try a different approach for how we’re doing business in Kamloops,” Lecky told KTW, noting it would help those dealing with mental health, addictions and homelessness who commit crimes.
Lecky is also proponent of safe supply of street drugs to combat the opioid crisis and is hoping more traction will be made on that becoming a reality in the province in 2022 having called for its implementation last year.