Inspector Chris Bear, head of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, said more officers are needed to keep up with demand. (File photo)

Inspector Chris Bear, head of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, said more officers are needed to keep up with demand. (File photo)

More officers needed at local RCMP detachment

Police see 2.2 per cent increase in calls for service in 2017

While 2016 was an extremely busy year for the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, 2017 has been even busier.

Inspector Chris Bear told Duncan city council on Feb. 19 that there has been a 2.2 per cent increase in calls for service in 2017 compared to the previous year.

He said the detachment will require additional resources to manage the ongoing increase in calls for service.

“The commitment of council to support additional municipal resources is a good start,” Bear said.

“We will continue to seek additional provincial resources going forward.”

Similar requests were made last year by Inspector Ray Carfantan, the former head of the detachment.

He said at the time that up to four additional officers are needed to be added to the 59 officers at the detachment to keep up with increasing demands.

In response, the Municipality of North Cowichan agreed to fund one new officer in 2018.

The province and the City of Duncan are responsible for funding most of the rest of the officers at the detachment.

“The detachment continues to have a significant number of personnel affected by medical/injury concerns, as well as delays in member’s physical moves from other jurisdictions,” Bear said.

“Presently, we have 48 operational police officers. We continue to work with Human Resources in an effort to fill both general duty [uniformed] positions and supervisory vacancies.”

SEE RELATED STORY: What do you think are policing priorities in North Cowichan/Duncan?

Bear told Duncan City Council that during 2016, calls for service equalled 20,207 calls, compared with 20,662 calls in 2017.

He said that during the fourth quarter of 2016, which includes October, November and December, 5,033 calls for service were received at the detachment, compared to 5,158 calls in the same quarter last year.

In 2017, 21 per cent of the calls the detachment responded to came from within the City of Duncan, 48 per cent came from the Municipality of North Cowichan,11 per cent came from the provincial area and 15 per cent came from First Nations Lands.

The calls for service in the fourth quarter of 2017 include 90 assaults, 19 sex offences, 24 weapons offences, 173 theft from vehicles, 86 causing disturbance calls, 45 non-fatal car crashes resulting in injuries and 63 calls for drug possession.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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