Planning the future for RCMP

The city will be spending $73,000 to hire a consultant to prepare a five year resourcing plan for RCMP in Kelowna.

The Prosser report, done in 2012, noted the local detachment was severely understaffed.

Debuty City Manager, Joe Creron told Kelowna city council Monday that they have completed additional hiring since then and are at full-strength of 188 members.

He said that even with a full team, the RCMP is constantly understaffed by at least 20 members due to issues like parental leave and illness.

They also struggle to keep new recruits once training is complete. He said they either decide not to become police or move to a municipal detachment, which will pay about $20,000 more a year.

“The plan needs to address our changing environment, the impact of homelessness, the impact of the opioid crisis, drug addiction and drug trafficking,” staff told council.

According to RCMP, they have seen a steep increase in calls for service over the last few years.  

 The new report will look at how RCMP has performed over the last five years in respect to the 2012 Prosser report.

“Did our crime reduction strategy reduce crime? If not, why?” said Creron.

 He expressed concern over population statistics and challenges they face when “two million tourists visit the city.”

They have requested that the consultant comments on various levels of service possibilities.

 “Maybe we don’t respond to minor calls to service. We don’t need to waste resources doing those types of things. We need to look at all the best management practises out there,” Creron suggested.

Councillor Charlie Hodge questioned why they needed to bring in a third party.

The consultant will be looking at all the data, which disqualifies internal staff because of privacy issues.

 He said everyone has their own built in bias.