A revised RCMP auxiliary police program is being introduced, that will, in some cases, allow the volunteer officers to resume general duty patrols and ride-alongs.
Their uniforms will be altered to underline their volunteer status.
The new three-tier system comes after auxiliary duties were sharply restricted following a year-long review of the fatal January 2015 shooting of RCMP Const. David Wynn at a casino outside Edmonton and the wounding of Auxiliary Const. David Bond.
Tier one will see RCMP auxiliaries participate in community policing services, such as public safety education and crime prevention initiatives, under general supervision. They will not be given peace officer status.
Tier two auxiliaries may conduct foot and bicycle patrols, crowd and traffic control duties, training support and delivery, disaster assistance and search and rescue operations assistance.
While tier two auxiliaries will have peace officer status where provincial and territorial legislation permits, they won’t go on general duty patrols (ride-alongs) and will be under the direct supervision of a regular member of the RCMP.
Tier three auxiliaries will carry out the duties of tier one and tier two officers, plus the addition of general duty patrols and check stops.
“These changes have been made based on evidence and extensive, thoughtful consultation,” said RCMP Deputy Comm. Kevin Brosseau, contract and aboriginal policing.
“I am confident they will improve the program, and contribute to the safety of our auxiliaries, our police officers and the public we serve.”
The force said new mandatory national training standards will be developed for all three tiers in the coming months.
The Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP detachment welcomed the news.
“There is still significant work to be completed over the next few months as we finalize the training standards and develop the required programs,” said Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP spokesperson Jocelyn Noseworthy.
“We truly value the commitment, dedication and work done by our Auxiliaries and look forward to completion of this process.”
Uniform options have yet to be finalized, but will include “high visibility garments” with the word “volunteer.”
Among the requirements, applicants must be at least 19 years old and a Canadian citizen with at least a high school diploma.