Picture: Supt. Shawna Baher
Update: 4 pm:
The Vernon RCMP is slowly building up its number of officers, which a city councillor feels will pay off in the downtown.Superintendent Shawna Baher told city council she has 6 new officers on order, which the city budgeted one million dollars for this year.
“I’m happy to say I’ve been on an ordering spree — it’s like Amazon for me right now — and I’ve been ordering members,” Baher told council.
Baher says when they all arrive — five constables and one corporal — it will bring their ranks up to 56 officers.
One corporal arriving from the Northwest Territories will start Oct. 21, while one of the five constables started Sept. 27th.
There is also a new sergeant on order from Forensic Identification Services, and a new police service dog will join the force from Fort Nelson
“There are still some others we are working through right now. We have to deal with some injuries. We also have to deal with some transfers and promotions, but that will get us closer to the mark,” added Baher.
City council earlier budgeted one million dollars to hire 6 more officers.Each position costs a minimum 173-thousand dollars, which includes salary, benefits and vehicle costs.
Councillor Dalvir Nahal says Baher has made a difference since taking over in July.
“I’ve seen a huge positive impact from the some of the steps she’s taken. I’m quite pleased, and in the last few months, I’ve noticed we’ve been getting less complaints about some of the things going on downtown,” Nahal told Beach Radio News.
Baher says one of the things they’ve done is a dramatic increase in downtown patrols the last few months.
A report going to Vernon City Council this afternoon outlines the progress the RCMP is making in adding new officers as per funding that was approved earlier.
Superintendent Shawna Baher says in her submission dated September 19th that four new constables should be arriving within 90 days.
A fifth will also be added but it’s not clear when.
As well, four cadets from the RCMP Training Academy have been requested for Vernon/Coldstream.
Three cadets will be assigned to Vernon and one to Coldstream.
At present, two have been identified with one graduating October 29, 2018, the other will arrive shortly thereafter.
Other assignments are also in the works:
• Vernon Municipal Sex Crimes/ Domestic Violence Supervisor (Corporal) — a member is
identified and start day will be the third week of October 2018.
• Forensic Identification Services (Sergeant) – National Staffing is in the process of
identifying a suitable candidate.
• Police Service Dog (Corporal) — This Provincial position has a candidate identified and
the transfer process is underway.
• Armstrong Municipal General Duty (Constable) — one candidate has expressed interest
and CDRA is determining possibility of release from their current posting.
• Enderby Provincial General Duty (Constable) — one cadet has been requested and will be
assigned within the next two weeks.