North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring learned that two more RCMP officers will be assigned to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment at the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference last week. (File photo)

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment to get two new officers

Detachment has been asking for more officers for years

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment will be getting two new officers in November to help keep up with increased workloads.

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said he was informed of the decision at last week’s Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in Vancouver in a meeting with Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

Siebring said the province has agreed to pay the costs of the officers, totalling approximately $360,000 when the price tag for training, equipment, pay and other factors are considered.

RELATED STORY: MORE OFFICERS NEEDED AT LOCAL RCMP DETACHMENT

“For me, finding out that the province is paying for the officers and not the municipality was one of the best parts of the announcement,” he said.

“It certainly paid for the trip that council members made to the UBCM conference.”

The North Cowichan/Duncan detachment currently employs 60 RCMP officers, of which 32 are paid for by North Cowichan, 24 by the province and four from First Nations Community Policing.

Inspector Chris Bear, head of the detachment, and his predecessor Inspector Ray Carfantan, have been asking to have the number of officers increased for years, citing increased workloads.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN/DUNCAN RCMP REPORTS CLIMB IN CALLS FOR SERVICE

Carfantan told council in 2017 that up to four additional officers needed to be added to the 59 officers that were at the detachment at the time, and North Cowichan agreed to fund one new officer in 2018 as a result.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN TO ASK FOR ONE MORE POLICE OFFICER

Further decisions on bringing in more officers were on hold until a staffing analysis, one of the first of its kind on the Island, at the detachment to determine its staffing requirements was completed.

Siebring said the staffing analysis was recently finalized.

“Our police services will certainly be in a better shape than they were with the arrival of the new officers, but there are still some ongoing discussions about increased workloads for the RCMP,” he said.

“The question of bringing more officers here may have to wait until after the next census in Canada (scheduled for 2021) when it would have to be determined who is responsible for funding, and how much, if Duncan’s population exceeds 5,000 people.”

Under the policing agreement with the province, Victoria pays for all the policing costs for communities under 5,000 people, and communities with more than 5,000 people pay for 90 per cent of their costs.

Duncan’s population has been wavering just under 5,000 for years but if the city exceeds that number after the next census, it will be expected to contribute to its policing costs for the first time.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Father and son score in narrow Quw’utsun loss

Brad and Quinton Thorne find the net, but their team is edged 3-2

T.W. Paterson column: This cougar story will never die

“As I walked along the last row in the Gallery, a skull mounted by one of the displays caught my eye!”

Shawnigan Hills parkrun report for Nov. 30

Seven personal bests set in chilly conditions

VIDEO: ‘Holiday Magic’ when Celtic Rhythms and Summit Dance joined forces in Duncan

Fun and frolic combined with more serious selections to make a satisfying evening for everyone

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

BC Hydro reservoirs see record low rain across Vancouver Island

Hydro electric watersheds are at a third of their normal levels

Most Read