There is more fallout in the wake of the city’s service-agreement review — this time with another organization.
Following a decision to outsource Kamloops and District Crime Stoppers services, the city is meeting with the organization to discuss reasons for the proposed change and possibly reconsider its decision.
“At this point, the decision from council stands, but we are talking to them about some transition options or some other options going forward,” City of Kamloops corporate services director Kathy Humphrey told KTW.
In October, council approved giving the organization three months’ notice and striking a deal with Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers.
The decision was part of a review of citywide service agreements that includes the controversy surrounding operation of the heritage St. Andrews Presbyterian Church downtown.
The city paid $19,000 to Kamloops and District Crime Stoppers last year and expects to pay roughly half of that ($10,800) in 2020 to Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers. Coun. Denis Walsh, chair of the city’s finance committee, which is tasked with reviewing the agreements, previously said the service was not expected to be diminished as a result of outsourcing.
City community and protective services director Byron McCorkell said the city met with Kamloops and District Crime Stoppers and asked it to review its operations. He said if it can provide its service for a rate similar to that of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, staff will present the information to the finance committee for direction, prior to finalizing a deal with Metro Vancouver.
Humphrey said the local Crime Stoppers group has presented the city with new information, which indicates the transition to Metro Vancouver is more complicated than the city initially realized. The city is now doing more research.
In addition, Humphrey said, the city was unaware Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers was not under the umbrella of BC Crime Stoppers.
“They’re not actually affiliated is what we have been learning, as well as what they’ve been telling us,” Humphrey said.
Kamloops and District Crime Stoppers issued a press release on Monday night, taking issue with a city statement that claimed most municipalities in B.C. are moving toward the provincewide system under Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, with much of the information collected electronically.
Asked for clarification, Humphrey replied: “There is a whole bunch of communities that are part of the Metro Vancouver group, not just the actual Metro Van, but some of the outlying communities, as well. It seems there are sort of two groups doing Crime Stoppers within the province.”
The Kamloops and District Crime Stoppers press release also stated the organization continues to operate as usual, as a non-profit society led by a group of volunteers.
“Our program receives widespread community support and diverse funding through community activities, the City of Kamloops and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and is actively exploring additional avenues of funding for future growth of the program,” it states. “Crime Stoppers is excited to be introducing new enhancements to the 2020 annual car raffle to engage more people in the community.”
The city opted against renewing one other service agreement, that with Kamloops Heritage Society, which cares for St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, the oldest public building in Kamloops.
The society has also taken issue with the city’s decision, having engaged in an ongoing debate over who should manage the building at Seymour Street and Second Avenue.
Kamloops and District Crime Stoppers has not yet returned calls to KTW.