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Posted: December 8, 2022

Cranbrook RCMP requests more officers and staff

City of Cranbrook council Dec. 5 deferred discussion about a requested increase in officers and administrative support staff for the Cranbrook RCMP Detachment to upcoming budget discussions.

Council received a request from Detachment Commander S/Sgt. Barry Graham for funding for additional RCMP staff in a Dec. 1 report.

“Cranbrook RCMP have consistently maintained operations with reduced regular member personnel, a resource issue outside the scope of local management. Calls for service do not change meaning the additional workload is absorbed by our reduced core and has a negative impact on service delivery. In addition to the collapse of proactive policing, the additional workload impacts the investigational investment required for each call,” S/Sgt. Graham noted in his report.

“When consistently running with resource minimums, short term medical absences have reduced our team to as low as one police officer on a shift. The current model is not sustainable. The reduction in our regular member resources creates significant salary return to the municipality which is directed annually toward the municipal general reserve fund.

“Current operational priorities for our municipal employees necessitate a need to reverse the trend and withdraw from the account we have traditionally been a significant contributor to.

“With respect to the regular member increase, we desperately need to get ahead of the forthcoming staffing crisis. Should we wait until next year to consider an increase, we will be competing with the bulk of the detachments who did not take advance action. It is clear policing needs have increased dramatically over the last few decades and our current resource levels for both the regular member and support staff are unable to maintain the base needs of our community.”

Council was asked for funding for 28 RCMP member positions starting April 1, 2023, along with authorization to send a memo to the Province of B.C. requesting an additional two members to the local detachment, increasing the number of officers to 30, as well as the creation of an additional watch clerk, while endorsing permanent funding for 2.5 watch clerks starting July 1, 2023.

After voting to defer, council authorized $65,000 from the Financial Stabilization Reserve for temporary administrative support and training, along with a six month term Watch Clerk position.

Lead image: S/Sgt. Barry Graham addresses council at a previous meeting. e-KNOW file photo


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