Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Results from RCMP updates only as successful as the Questions asked

Prince Rupert City Council received an update on Policing in the city
last week from Sergeant Baldinger of the local detachment

Prince Rupert Council members had an opportunity last week to finally receive an update on policing in the community, as they welcomed a representative of the Prince Rupert detachment to Council chambers for the first review of policing in a public format in over two years.

And while there was some information gleaned last Monday from Sergeant Baldinger of the Sixth Avenue detachment, there were certainly a number of questions that Council members could have inquired about with their time with RCMP member.

The Councillors having gone some two years between updates, were perhaps somewhat out of practice when it comes to seeking information and asking the kinds of questions that the public might expect of them.

For the most part last Monday, they seemed more focused and spent a good portion of the available time with the Sergeant on making sure all of their opinions on the recent Maclean's survey on policing were on the record, rather than to dig a little deeper into some of the elements of policing that the community might want to know about.

Beyond the obvious need to hold updates on a more regular basis, Council members may wish to review how some of the communities along Highway 16 approach these types of updates from the RCMP.

At the November 18th meeting, the Kitimat Council, which has a monthly update process in place with their detachment, received  its regular update and asked a range of questions from the RCMP Officer in Charge.

Their inquiries making for a flow of information that did offer somewhat more detail and provided for a better glimpse of the issues than what Prince Rupert councillors inquired on last week.

You can get a sample of the Kitimat process here starting at the one hour, three minute mark.

Similar updates take place in Smithers and Terrace to name a few of the communities that feature regular information sessions with their local detachments that take place on at least a quarterly basis, if not more frequent.

Terrace City Council hosted both a representative from the Fire Department Union, as well as a report from the Office in Charge of the RCMP detachment at their November 12th council session with the Terrace Officer in Charge involved for the full two hours plus process of the Council session,

You can review those inquiries from the Terrace council archive, at the one hour  fifty three minute mark.

As well, in Terrace, council members there and the public for that matter, are kept informed on a cross section of case files on almost a weekly basis, through the release of a Detachment Call for Service review through the RCMP's website in that community.

That's a form of reporting that Prince Rupert Council should give some thought towards asking of their own detachment.

It would not only serve as a good indication of what the local members are facing on a day to day basis, but perhaps even provide the City Councillors with some hard data on the level of incidents in the community and offer up some ideas for constructive questions for their next get together, whenever that may come in 2020 or 2021 ....

For a look at some of the work of Emergency Responders in the Northwest see our archive page here.

A wider overview of City Council discussion themes can be found here.

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