Wednesday, May 11, 2022

No Talk of Fires or Grow ops, but Council does make another call for an RCMP presentation soon

City Manager Rob Buchan noted on Monday night that
the City's RCMP detachment will soon have a new
Officer in Charge in the community

Monday's twenty four minute Council session came with no mention of the rather significant fire of the start of the month in the downtown core, or recent concerns voiced in the local paper of what smells like a significant number of Grow Ops in the downtown area.

However, one theme did get a short mention at Monday's meeting, that of the still unfulfilled request for a representative from the local RCMP detachment to come to Council to hear the concerns of Council members and discuss issues that the public has raised with them.

Councillor Barry Cunningham repeated the request on Monday, one first issued by Councillor Nick Adey back in September of 2021, a call which he reissued in February of this year, with Mr. Cunningham noting of some of the commentary that Council has received recently on downtown issues.

"Councillor Adey asked when we were going to get the RCMP before Council, so we could ask them some questions and that and it's been months since then and I don't see where it's relevant if we're waiting for a new OIC or not. Somebody's in charge of that detachment and they should come ... cause tourism is coming right now and there's a lot of problems in the downtown area that are being brought to our attention. So, I really think that we should have a chat with the RCMP.

In reply, City Manager Rob Buchan provided a short update on the status of the management of the local detachment.

"In speaking with the incoming Officer In Charge, we let them know that this is a process that we would like to see occur fairly regularly .... I'm meeting with the new Officer in Charge on Friday, so we will pass on that invitation and arrange for a fairly quick meeting with Council at an upcoming Council meeting hopefully in June" -- City Manager Rob Buchan

The apparent hiring of a new Office in Charge for Prince Rupert after  the position having been vacant since 2020, with only Acting Commanders watching over the local policing, seems to be something of a need to know basis. 

With no official announcement provided as of yet from the City as to who will be leading the city's detachment.

When it comes to sharing themes on policing in the community, the Prince Rupert detachment is somewhat less inclined to provide as much background as other detachments in the Northwest. 

For instance both the Terrace and Kitimat detachment regularly provide for frequent updates to their detachment websites that detail some of the case files they have handled. 

Something that at least provides some indication for the public as to the challenges that the front line officers deal with on a day to day basis.

As Councillor Cunningham noted, there have been a number of high profile incidents in the city of late that have captured the attention of the public and some kind of  public response to the situation is surely something that would be welcomed.

As for Council presentations by the RCMP, it's been quite a while since anyone from the Sixth West detachment sat in at a Council session to provide for an update on the case load situation for the members, with the last such opportunity taking place in December of 2019.

The Council conversation from Monday can be reviewed through the City's Video Archive starting at the 21 minute mark.

More notes on the work of the RCMP and other Emergency Responders across the Northwest can be explored here.

A look at the other themes of Monday's Council session can be found from our Council Timeline Feature.

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