Assessment recommends up to 10 new officers for short-staffed rural RCMP detachment

A Tk’emlups te Secwepemc councillor says between seven and 10 more police officers are needed to cover a growing rural area that includes Tk’emlups, Sun Rivers, Sun Peaks, Tobiano and other outlying communities, but the province doesn’t appear to be doling out extra resources.

During a community-to-community forum with the city on Monday, Tk’emlups Coun. Jeanette Jules said the Kamloops Rural RCMP detachment has the largest catchment area in British Columbia, an area that also includes Loon Lake, McLure, Paul Lake, Skeetchestn, Whispering Pines and Pinantan. She said a consultant in Ottawa assessed policing needs and recommended a minimum of seven and an optimum of 10 more officers be added to the six currently on staff.

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“When they have to go out and do a call and they only have two officers on shift, that takes all the resources,” Jules told KTW. “There is nobody here. Then somebody from the city has to come over.”

Kamloops council has recently been advocating for additional resources, in light of the city picking up the majority of the tab for its policing (90 per cent) and those officers dispatched elsewhere. When the city’s police officers are tied up helping rural communities, Kamloops ratepayers are essentially on the hook.

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian pointed to growth in the outlying areas and said policing is the largest investment for taxpayers.

“The province should be ponying back to us the amount of time people are looking into matters outside of our own jurisdiction,” Christian said.

Jules has pushed the federal and provincial governments on the matter, but continues to await a response. She said the band will continue to lobby and will meet with communities attended by the rural detachment.

“This is a high priority for us, the health and safety of everyone,” she said.

© Kamloops This Week


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