More officers needed in North Cowichan/Duncan as call numbers rise

The North Cowichan/Duncan detachment of the RCMP is expected to soon be making formal requests for more officers

The North Cowichan/Duncan detachment of the RCMP is expected to soon be making formal requests for more officers as it faces growing demands for service from the community.

In a report to the City of Duncan on Oct. 17, Inspector Ray Carfantan stated that the steady increase in calls for service over the past four years, and a 12 per cent increase in 2016 alone, “strongly suggests” that an increase in manpower is appropriate.

The detachment currently has 59 officers when at full strength.

“The severity of the calls for service overall is significant,” he said.

‘We are dealing with very serious… offences routinely and these are a heavy drain on our resources.”

Carfantan said the detachment is still trying to determine exactly how many extra officers would be needed for the detachment and he expects a draft report on resource levels to be completed within the next 60 days.

Carfantan said the detachment has received 5,398 calls for service over the three month period from July through September, compared to 5,052 calls in the same period in 2015.

They include 117 assaults, 16 sex offences, 36 weapons offences, 133 disturbance calls and 101 drug offences.

Duncan mayor Phil Kent acknowledged that the demands of the officers and staff at the North Cowichan/Duncan detachment have increased.

But he said Carfantan’s report is for information only as the province is ultimately responsible for funding RCMP detachments in B.C.