Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Council renews call for updates from local RCMP detachment on range of civic issues

With some concerning notes on community violence relayed through social media over the weekend serving as a talking point; Councillor Nick Adey returned to a theme often approached by City Council, that being the desire for more frequent updates on policing in the community from officials at the local RCMP detachment.

The Councillor raised the topic at Monday's Committee of the Whole session, first by making note of some recent discussion themes on social media and accounts of reports of assaults in some areas of the city. 

And while not wanting to focus on some of the colourful commentaries that course along the city's social media chat forums, he did observe that it does seem to illustrate a need for more information to flow out of the RCMP detachment in the city.

"What I think it does, is it suggests to us that it would be a lot healthier I think for the community to hear at least on a semi-regular basis a general report from the RCMP.  In terms of the types of things that they are dealing with" -- Councillor Nick Adey at Monday's City Council Session

What Adey would like to see are semi regular updates from the detachment outlining some of the policing elements that they may deal with on a day to day basis, whether through interactions with the homeless, calls for assistance on family abuse or drug concerns that may be found in the city.

Monday Night Councillor Nick Adey renewed the call for more frequent
updates from the RCMP for City Council

As part of the discussion of Monday evening, the Mayor suggested that the city should seek to have a member of the RCMP attend the next Committee of the Whole process, as part of the city's efforts to gain more community updates.

Though it should be noted, that much like this weekend on social media was not the first time that reports of assaults and other concerns of crime in the city have been relayed through a number of local forums.

So too, the call for a more comprehensive information flow for council is not new and has been an often heard request.

Most recently requested by the very same Councillor from Monday, who last asked for community updates back in the summer, with Councillor Adey following a trail on the theme first raised by Councillor Cunningham a number of years ago and a call that so far has not met with much success.

As we noted in August, Prince Rupert is somewhat unique in its past interest, or lack of as it seems, in receiving updates from the local police agency.

That when you compare Prince Rupert's lack of follow up, to the engagement found in other communities such as Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers, where hearing from the RCMP  is a frequent element of their public council process.

Those public sessions providing council members in those communities the opportunity to often raise the very themes that Councillor Adey opened his comments to Council with on Monday.

Another suggestion that City Council may want to make towards officials at the Prince Rupert detachment is to follow the lead of the detachment in Terrace, which regularly posts a frequently updated Call for Service report to the detachment website.

That is a review of police files and calls for assistance that at least provides a snapshot of the work of the detachment.

It serves not only to alert the community to some of the files that the responding officers take on, but also to reflect some of the many challenges that policing can provide in the community.  Something which helps to give the public some balance when it comes to how the police approach law enforcement and other issues in the area.

You can review the Councillor's commentary on the theme from the City's Video Archive starting at just past the seventeen minute mark.

For more notes on the work of Emergency Responders in the Northwest see our archive page here.

Further background on Monday's City Council Session can be found from our Council Timeline Feature, while a wider overview of Council Discussion themes can be found from our Council Discussion Archive.

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