Re: John Hart’s letter of June 15 (‘Now is the time to create a municipal police force in Kamloops’):
Hart suggested Kamloops have a municipal police force without “military -style weapons.”
I would challenge Hart — if a person entered his child’s school with a weapon, would he really want the “military-style weapons” (which, by the way, is an inaccurate term) to be at the police station or, worse, in Vancouver?
And before anybody says that would never happen in Kamloops, let’s just remember the residents of Moncton, Fredericton and Portapique once said the same thing.
I am happy with the service of the RCMP. I know petty crime has increased, but I would suggest it has more to do with second chances accused get in this world.
If Kamloops switched to a municipal police force, I doubt we would see a huge change in the amount of petty crime.
A more effective approach, perhaps, would be utilizing the already highly trained peace officers this province employs in other areas to do minor police work, allowing the police to focus on serious crimes and crime prevention.
Bylaws officers can do well-being checks. We can follow Alberta’s model and expand the sheriffs’ and CVSE’s mandate to focus on traffic.
Since sheriffs are already focused on court duties, they can also start doing probation and curfew checks.
Conservation officers can focus on, as they have been, COVID-related restrictions.
If these tasks are taken from the police and given to the agencies that have the time, staff and training to deal with them, Mounties can then focus on more serious crimes and crime prevention, thus allowing for safer communities.