Lake Country council is being asked to consider adding more police officers next year, but the district’s chief administrative officer says council should hold off making that decision. (file)

Lake Country to consider more cops

Council asked to look at adding up to five more RCMP officers

Does Lake Country need more cops?

That’s the question council will be asked next week by municipal staff.

Despite a recommendation from chief administrative officer Albert De Feo that no new RCMP officers be requested for 2020 and a hiring strategy be undertaken instead with recommendations in 2021, council will be asked to consider requesting anywhere from one to five new officers for the 2020 fiscal year.

“As the District’s population continues to grow, the need to add additional RCMP members grows,” says a report to be presented to council Tuesday.

“While there are no hard or defined rules for the level of RCMP service in relation to population, what can be agreed by both the RCMP and (district) staff is that members should be added before significant growth in crime rates (are) noted.”

Currently, the district has 13 police officers. Because it has a population of just under 15,000, the district pays 70 per cent of the total cost providing police service.

Once the population surpasses 15,000, that contribution will jump to 90 per cent. The remainder is covered by the province.

But the report says most of the time the actual number of officers assigned to cover Lake Country varies is as low nine because of illness, leaves and vacancies.

READ MORE: Less crime in Lake Country

The total cost to the district of adding a single RCMP officer to local detachment is estimated at $127,000, which would equate to a municipal tax increase of 1.1 per cent, says the staff report.

“If members are not added regularly between now (and the population surpassing 15,000), the adjustment to the funding and the additional required staff will be significant,” says the report.

Despite that, De Feo wants Lake Country to move “cautiously” from a financial perspective.

“First of all, our policing needs are not as pressing as other communities,” he writes in the report.

“We have other capacity needs that seem more pressing and that will need to be addressed sooner rather than later and that will be outlined in the staff capacity review that is being prepared by staff.”

He adds the other major issue is office space for any new cops.

The CAO says the current RCMP building in Lake Country is at capacity and major renovations would be needed to bring the existing facility up to RCMP standards.

“This would be a major capital cost, of which we don’t have any estimate at this time.”

Council discussed the issue at its regular weekly meeting Tuesday night.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Fire near Wood Lake a “smoke chase”

A water bomber reportedly took off from Penticton and is on the way to Lake Country

Expect delays and one-lane traffic along Highway 33

Repaving is underway along Highway 33 and Big White Road

UPDATE: Lake Country man reunited with missing parrot

The Senegal parrot escaped from her cage Wednesday evening and was found Friday afternoon

Roots and Blues online festival live tonight on Black Press Media

Tune in to Black Press Media to watch the festival live Aug. 14, 15 and 16

Okanagan COVID-19 case count growth slows

BCCDC data shows a stark contrast between Okanagan-specific numbers released in July and August

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Vernon pedestrian struck dies from injuries

Emergency responders are on scene on Main Street near the CIBC, traffic affected

Kelowna man convicted of not paying taxes after turbulent trial

Man claims he doesn’t meet the definition of a ‘person’ under the federal Income Tax Act

Accused in Kelowna’s 2018 Canada Day killing granted bail more than 1.5 years later

Esa Carriere was stabbed to death during the Canada Day fireworks in downtown Kelowna in 2018

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Most Read