RCMP request for additional police officer supported

Revelstoke council agrees to RCMP request to add 12th police officer to detachment.

The RCMP are asking for an additional officer in Revelstoke. They say that even crime is down

Revelstoke council approved adding one extra police officer to the local RCMP detachment, following a request from Staff-Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky.

The decision will bring the number of general duty police officers in Revelstoke to 12, from 11. It will cost the city $120,000.

Council approved the request during its first special budget meeting on Thursday, Nov. 19.

In an interview, Grabinsky said the extra officer was needed because the RCMP was unable to keep up with the call volume the detachment received.

He said that despite the fact the crime rate is down, the detachment is actually receiving more calls on matters that aren’t necessarily criminal, like missing persons and mental health issues.

“Overall, the crime rate has dropped nationally, but our call volume is steadily rising,” Grabinsky said. “We get more calls all the time, but we’re not getting the high level of crime stat.”

As well, many police files are becoming more complex and require more office work. As an example, he said an impaired driving investigation can take 6–8 hours to complete. The three recent child pornography cases the RCMP investigated took on average six weeks to investigate and prepare for court. That means police are spending a lot more time at their desks, and not on the street.

As well, some officers are off due to injuries and other medical issues.

“When we have that, it leaves us in a situation where we are very short,” Grabinsky said.

The detachment was hit hard when Sgt. Kim Hall died suddenly earlier this year. She was only just replaced by a new corporal earlier this month. At its worst, the detachment was down to seven officers, Grabinsky said.

Grabinsky’s request was supported by the city’s security committee, said councillor Trevor English, who chairs the committee.

“We looked at four other communities and we feel like we’re understaffed here based on what morale looks like, as well as what scheduling is like for the members at the detachment,” he said.

Grabinsky told council that they looked at using Commissionaires to do finger printing, but that proved not possible. “The only way we can truly respond and provide a service to the community that we expect to provide is by increasing by one or two more police officers,” he said. “We cannot dedicate these investigations to civilians.”

Council agreed that hiring an extra police officer was a priority and voted to add it to the budget. How that extra cost is covered remains to be seen.

“It appears to be a top priority so we should put it in the budget, and we’ll find either savings or do what we have to do going forward,” said councillor Connie Brothers. “From the principled point of view, around the table we’re looking at this as a priority so we need to ensure it goes in.”

The city spent $1,250,753 on the RCMP in 2014. This year, it budgeted $1,260,000, not including $120,000 for the 12th officer.

The number of officers the city pays for doesn’t include highway traffic police and a few others that work out of the detachment.

The funding is now part of the budget, however it will not be released until the budget is approved.

 

Just Posted

Fire prevention in Revelstoke: ‘Look. Listen. Learn.’ What does it mean?

Home fires today can burn faster than ever. Occupants may have as… Continue reading

Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence nominees announced

The nominees for the annual Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards… Continue reading

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Revelstoke City Council makes moves to protect the look of the downtown core

Revelstoke City Council has issued a development permit for a three story… Continue reading

Revelstoke women’s hockey hosts third annual tournament

The Revelstoke Kodiaks women’s hockey team hosted a tournament last weekend. Dawson… Continue reading

Sunny skies for the week ahead

Environment Canada is forecasting clear skies for the Okanagan and Shuswap

Workers at BC Interior mill strike as negotiations resume in Kelowna

Picket lines went up at 4 a.m Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Tolko Lakeview Division in Williams Lake

Toronto Police ID B.C. man as naked shark tank jumper

David Weaver, of Nelson, is wanted on mischief and assault charges

In Florida, families seeking the missing amid storm damage

Five days after the hurricane slammed into the Florida Panhandle, people are struggling to locate friends and loved ones.

Prince Harry and Meghan start Aussie tour with baby gifts

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on a 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

EU’s Barnier hopes Brexit deal possible in ‘coming weeks’

Britain is set to leave the European Union in March, but a Brexit agreement must be sealed in coming weeks to leave enough time for relevant parliaments to ratify it.

Earth samples show dust from B.C. pipeline blast not a health threat: Enbridge

Enbridge says earth sampling shows mineral and metal composition is well below provincial and federal standards for urban and residential areas.

Postal services ready for looming wave of legal cannabis deliveries

Legal cannabis is set to usher in a wave of high-value, age-restricted parcels in the mail system, and delivery companies say they’re ready.

Mega Millions prize of $654M is nation’s 4th-largest

No one has won the U.S. jackpot in almost three months

Most Read