Vernon mayor confident in police services
The RCMP detachment has stated there will be two fewer officers as a result of council approving a 1.8 per cent hike to the detachment budget instead of the 6.7 per cent increase that was requested.
“The facts demonstrate the public doesn’t have to be concerned about a reduction in boots and badges,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.
The RCMP has stated it bills the city for 50 officers and 2013 funding levels will lead to 48.
However, Sawatzky says the city was actually billed for 48 officers at the end of 2012.
“That’s been the average number over the last five years,” he said.
“There is no difference between the 48 and what we’ve been billed for.”
Supt. Reg Burgess has anticipated the direct impact with fewer officers will be undercover operations on prostitution and drug activities downtown.
He has also suggested the detachment will have less flexibility when officers are injured or ill and members may have to be shifted away from initiatives like school liaison and foot patrols.
But Sawatzky believes service levels should remain consistent given the average of 48 officers.
“With the priorities of council, the detachment should be able to provide them,” he said.