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October 28, 2017 1:07 am

No Decision on RCMP Budget Boost Request

Monday, December 14, 2015 @ 2:37 PM

Prince George, B.C.-   The Finance and Audit Committee has tasked administration with crunching the  numbers to see  what the financial impact would be  to add 2 new  RCMP officers to the local detachment.

The request follows  the Prince George RCMP’s   budget enhancement request  to have funding increased  for  three officers in 2016,  two more in 2017, and another 2 in  2018.

Supt. Warren Brown appeared before the City’s Finance and Audit committee today to lay  his cards on the table, “If the community  is content  with a very high  crime rate here, I am content to provide the same  quality of policing which  we have now” said Supt. Brown “But if we  would like  to come down to a crime rate I say is  consistent with other communities in B.C.  of our size,  I cannot do it with  the current workforce I have.”

Brown says  he  fully reviewed all the  stats, the workforce,  crime trends and priorities,  before making the request.  Yet, while saying 95% of the community   is safe, “We do have a very vulnerable sector in this community”.   Superintendent Brown says regardless of the efforts of past  detachment commanders “We have continuously been overrepresented by crime in the community.”  He says that is  the way Prince George has  been, and continues to be “I am looking at the most efficient way to fight crime with existing resources, but despite that, we are going to continue to face a high crime rate here.”

He says  the local detachment  racked up  about $1.4 million in overtime in 2014,  and   while some  committee members hoped to hear  adding  more officers would reduce  that overtime bill,  Supt. Brown  cannot  give that  guarantee nor could he estimate  how much might be saved.

An additional  three officers next year,  plus one admin position, would add about $500 thousand to the  budget,   but that is  if all three officers arrived January 1st.  It is more likely they would not be on stream until September.

The Finance and Audit Committee  has asked  staff to  prepare a report that would lay out the budget impacts for   hiring 2 officers and one admin person for next year, compared to the full  request.  Staff will also  show  how the full year of salary would  impact the 2017 budget  which  called for another 2 officers to be brought on board.

That  staff report is  to be presented to Council on January 18th.

While the move  today  was not a  full denial of his request,  Sup. Brown   says he is neither encouraged nor discouraged by the outcome of the meeting  ” I am just not satisfied that I can make a difference in this community  with what I have right now.  I realize there are competing pressures here,   I am very respectful of that, but I am not content  with having a crime rate  that we have in this community, and I need help.”


How affective are we in dealing with the 20% of offenders who are responsible for 80% of the problems?

What about our judicial system? How’s that working? Are they overloaded? Are prolific offenders put back on the streets in days? Hours?

Let’s get serious with the real offenders and put them out of commission.

Sup. Browm sounds like he is not up to the job? A leader makes due with the resources available. I think two more officers is just a drop in the ocean when it comes to current crime rates and policing and Sup. Brown is short on specifics.

I think the real solution to Prince George crime rates does not lay with the RCMP and policing issues but rather with chronic under funding in other areas. When we have flop,houses full of ministry of children that should be in care we have greater problems than just needing more police boots on the ground. Maybe it would help the RCMP if they made their voice known on the issues of children in care and judicial efficiency?

I think the problems of crime in PG are a result of under funding from the provincial government in regional child care, mental health issues, and available court time for an efficient judiciary. The money to solve these crime issues at their root does not lay at Patricia Blvd but rather in Victoria.

Time for our local MLA’s to step up to the plate.

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