Kelowna’s RCMP Superintendent has assured city council the detachment will be ready for what’s likely to be a hectic tourist season.
During Monday’s (May 30) council meeting Supt. Kara Triance was asked what planning and resources were in place.
“It’s like the world has found Kelowna,” said Councillor Mohini Singh. “I expect this will be a busy summer.”
Triance said the detachment has adequate numbers and is bringing in resources from around the province to ensure proper staffing.
“I was able to share an internal document with our team talking about resources we’re seeing staffed to Kelowna over the next three to four months,” she said. “That really will help some of those numbers match provincial levels of vacancy rates.”
Councillor Ryan Donn brought up the issue of the Kelowna force currently dealing with a 20 per cent staffing gap.
“As you know, we’ve worked very hard to fund, frankly, as much RCMP as our community could afford,” added Donn. “Then I see the fact we don’t have the people in the community doing that role, and I think it’s tough for a lot of us because it forced you to make some very tough choices.”
Triance answered that the detachment is seeing prioritization from the RCMP national staffing program, and recruitment of officers.
“I would expect to see our staffing rates come up quite significantly in the next 90 days.”
She pointed out there are two issues to consider. The funding of officers and staffing of officers.
“That is the part where I’ve been speaking publicly about is the placing of officers in the positions funded by the city and making sure that we can get to an adequate level of police officers in boots on the ground.”
Triance added she believes Kelowna will be on par with the rest of the province to a manageable level by September.