Spallumcheen keeps policing costs at bay

Persistence has paid off for the Township of Spallumcheen.

The township would not budge in negotiations with the RCMP over payment for municipal police members after Spallumcheen’s population rose above 5,000 in the latest census. Those numbers meant the township would now be responsible for paying for police.

“They kept saying we would have to pay for four members and we’ve said many times ‘wait just a minute, we only want to pay for three,’” said Mayor Janice Brown.

Spallumcheen will be responsible for paying for three police members for two years, retroactive from April 1, 2012, to March 2014.

Coun. Todd York said the move doesn’t mean less police coverage for Spallumcheen.

“We have an integrated unit which includes members in Armstrong,” said York. “We don’t lose a member. Spallumcheen is simply responsible for paying for three officers. It doesn’t mean less of a force.”

The township had budgeted in its financial plan for 3.5 officers and were going to pay for the members from a combination of taxation and drawing from reserves.

Chief financial officer Brian Freeman-Marsh said talks with the finance committee over having to pay for less officers means there won’t be a need to draw from reserves, and that money can be used to potentially pay for policing in subsequent years.



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