RCMP Ask for Staff Increase
Prince George, B.C.- The first of two days of budget talks for Prince George City Council will start today at 3:30 and is based on a 3% increase in the levy. But that could go higher as the Prince George Detachment of the RCMP is asking for a service enhancement.The contract for the local detachment allows for a maximum of 135 members. The detachment budgets for 121, but because of temporary leaves, has never reached that target and is not allowed to fill those temporary vacancies. As a result, overtime is mounting as a reduced number of officers handle increased numbers of files. Overtime in 2014 amounted to more than $1.4 million dollars.
In addition to temporary leaves, resources have been used to focus attention on a number of specific issues, such as the Downtown Safety Unit, the Car 60 unit and the Domestic Violence unit.
The detachment is asking that the contract be revised to allow for a maximum of 143 members, and the budget be boosted to fund an extra 7 officers over the next three years. In the report to Council, the RCMP request budget increases to fund three more officers in 2016 and two in each of the following two years.
The increase in officers for 2016 would cost the City an extra $481,369.00 and by the time all seven were on board by 2018, the estimated annual budget increase would be $1.123 million. The report to Council states; “Failure to maintain adequate policing resources and an appropriate police to population ration in the future could negatively impact service deliver, place increased risks to public and officer safety and adversely affect to community’s perception of public safety.”
Without the enhancement, the Police services proposed budget is just over $23 million.
There is also a request to hire a second Data Processor for the Detachment. The person in this position is responsible for building and linking a number of reports and documents and converting them to electronic formats for Crown Counsel. Senior Management at the RCMP detachment have identified this second position as a priority to ensure Crown’s requests on disclosure are met. Adding this position would add a further $73,365.00 to the detachment’s budget.
The budget session will start at 3:30 this afternoon with input from the public. Following an overview of the City’s revenue and expenditures, and the community consultation process leading up to the budget presentation, Police services will be the first item up for discussion.