Last night Colwood Council resolved to increase the City’s police strength by funding two additional West Shore RCMP officers with corresponding support staff of two civilian employees by 2021. The increase will be funded by new construction tax revenue, so it will not impact current residential property taxpayers.
"Colwood was recently rated one of the safest communities in Canada and the second safest community in BC. We intend to keep it that way." said Colwood Mayor Rob Martin.
As a combined RCMP detachment, West Shore RCMP’s current strength of 81 officers serves Colwood, Langford and View Royal as well as Highlands, Metchosin, Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation, portions of the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area and the Trans Canada Highway. The Province is responsible for funding the smaller municipalities of Highlands and Metchosin as well as JDF and Trans Canada areas, and current data confirms Provincial contributions are low.
“Colwood, Langford and View Royal all contribute higher proportions toward West Shore RCMP than the Province” said Colwood Mayor Rob Martin. “Whether you measure by population, service time, officers per capita or property assessments, the Provincial contribution falls short.”
The three municipalities have sent a joint letter to the Province requesting that the Province increase their portion of West Shore RCMP funding to meet service needs.
Report recommends RCMP increase
The recommended increases are supported by a recent RCMP General Duty Staffing Assessment (GDSA) that outlines current and required resources based on the total time spent in each of the detachment’s business lines. It recommends an increase of four General Duty Constables, from 32 to 36 for an overall increase in police strength from 81 to 90.
The assessment also shows that with current resources, General Duty members are only able to spend 13.5% of their time doing proactive police work. The RCMP recommends that a detachment’s strength should allow for officers to dedicate 25%-35% of their time to proactive policing.
According to the GDSA report, underfunding by the Provincial Government for areas policed by Provincial members is one reason for this shortfall.
Colwood Council’s resolution to fund two new officers and two new civilian staff fulfils the City’s portion of the increase. They are calling on the Province to fund their portion as well. Specifically, the GDSA shows that the Province should fund an additional three members, increasing form their current four members to seven.
Sandra Russell, Communications Manager