Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP Supt. Shawna Baher explains more officers are on their way to the local detachment to Vernon council Tuesday. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP Supt. Shawna Baher explains more officers are on their way to the local detachment to Vernon council Tuesday. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

More RCMP officers heading to North Okanagan

Vernon-North Okanagan detachment superintendent working to fill out staff lineup card

Shawna Baher feels like she’s ordering from Amazon.ca.

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP’s superintendent joked to Vernon council she was adding officers to her shopping cart checkout online as she works to fill out the staff roster.

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“We have one corporal arriving from the Northwest Territories, she starts on the 21st (October),” said Baher, running down her wish list. “We have five constables that have been ordered. One has already started. We’ve ordered in four cadets from the RCMP training academy; three are slated for Vernon and one for Coldstream, and another recruit is coming for Enderby.”

Baher said new sergeant for the detachment’s forensic identifications services is also on board, but that position was not able to be staffed laterally, so a promotional process is underway for that posting.

One RCMP candidate has expressed an interest in municipal general duty for Armstrong, which is a constable position, so the RCMP’s Career Development and Resource Advisors are determining the possibility of release from their current position.

The detachment is also getting six legs from the Northwest Territories: a police service dog handler and his canine partner.

“They’re both very highly thought of,” said Baher. “He’s a very good dog handler with a large search and rescue portfolio. We’re happy they’re joining us.”

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The City of Vernon approved six new officers in the 2018 budget, bringing the number of officers in the detachment to 56 from 50.

“There are still some other positions we are working through right now, we have to deal with some injuries, some promotions and transfers, but that will get us closer to the mark,” said Baher. “And as those transfers and injuries get dealt with, I’ll be able to make a decision at that time if we staff it with a new person. I’m trying to get as close as we can to the 56 as possible.”

Coun. Dalvir Nahal, attending what could be her final council meeting (she’s up for re-election Oct. 20), praised the work Baher has been doing in her short time on the job.

“It’s amazing how you’re engaging the community,” said Nahal. “The relationships being built between the social agencies and the RCMP are important. It’s better that we work together than against one another.”

Said Baher, in reply: “I agree, 100 per cent.”



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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