File Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet
File Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet

Kelowna RCMP ranks growing

by - Story: 35959

Kelowna's top cop is encouraged with the message sent by Kelowna City Councillors during budget deliberations Thursday morning.

The budget proposal put forth by RCMP Superintendent, Bill McKinnon included a request for eight new members and four administrators to handle a new record managing system mandated by the provincial government.

Council approved six RCMP members and two administrators. They also agreed to revisit the other six at the end of deliberations.

"I'm pleased with the fact we have six officers and two Prime Reviewers already approved," says McKinnon. "I'm pleased we got this far as I really do need extra help. We have cracks in the system in resources and trying to deal with the workload each and every day, so I'm encouraged."

McKinnon says the new PRIME Records Management System will be extremely labour intensive and to make it run properly will require four administrators, four per shift.

"We've been mandated to use the system, but it will be extra work. Every detachment I've spoken to quite openly voices their concerns about the extra workload, and if you're not ready for it, it will bring your detachment to a standstill."

He says there were times last summer when members couldn't access case files because the system had bogged down.

"We need four because of our shifting and I think I made that clear. Otherwise, I don't know how we're going to get there. I guess we always seem to find a way."

Meantime, the six new members McKinnon did receive have already been assigned. Two will join the detachment's Target Reduction Team while the others will be deployed to each of the four Duty watches.

He had hoped to get two other officers to work as a Domestic Violence Coordinator and an Organized Crime Coordinator.

UPDATE: At the end of the budget process Thursday, City Council adopted a number of Priority two items, including two additional RCMP members. These members have been designated as a Domestic Violence Coordinator and an Organized Crime Coordinator. The RCMP also receive the extra two PRIME Reviewers Superintendent McKinnon had been asking for.

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