Kelowna RCMP Supt. Brent Mundle. (Capital News file)

Kelowna to hire consultant to look at its police resources

A five-year police resourcing plan will be completed

Kelowna’s contingent of RCMP will be closely examined in the days ahead.

Council agreed Monday to develop a five-year RCMP resourcing plan to determine future policing levels as well as review how the city has performed since it acted on the recommendations of the last review, the Prosser Report, which was completed in 2012.

The report will also examine how the environment has changed and what the city needs to consider to address these new challenges and the impact of the RCMP Auxiliary on hold.

The local detachment has 188 members, but it’s often under-resourced by as many as 30 officers because of issues such as parental leave, illness and suspensions.

That’s not much better than seven years ago when consultant Robert Prosser concluded the city’s RCMP detachment was critically understaffed and 22 additional officers were needed to ease what was one of the highest caseloads per officer in the country.

The council of the day moved forward with reccomendations, but Coun. Luke Stack pointed out this week that it’s not exactly met the needs of the community.

The reason to move ahead with the Prosser report’s reccomendations was that the city was ” going to have some really, really great outcomes,” said Stack.

“I don’t think we got them at the end of the day,” he said.

READ MORE: ‘Chronically understaffed’ Kelowna RCMP needs more cops says consultant

Concerns about crime have run rampant in recent months.

Supt. Brent Mundle, has reported a drop in the overall crime rate in Kelowna in recent years, some areas have remained problematic, particularly property crime and drug-fuelled offences downtown.

That, coupled with a growing perception downtown Kelowna was no longer a safe place, prompted Mundle to deploy more officers there and initiate several initiatives to try and stop crime before it occurs.

READ MORE: Kelowna needs to take the lead with crime and homelessness, says former top cop

The city also hired Mundle’s predecessor, former Kelowna RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon, to look at what measures should be taken to tackle crime downtown. McKinnon’s made a number of short and long-term recommendation but said first and foremost, the city should take more of a leadership role in dealing with the growing drug problem in Kelowna.

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