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RCMP Superintendent, Bill McKinnon welcomes one of more than 50 Auxiliary Officers to duty. (File Photo: Wayne Moore - Castanet)
RCMP Superintendent, Bill McKinnon welcomes one of more than 50 Auxiliary Officers to duty. (File Photo: Wayne Moore - Castanet)

Top cop lauds volunteers

by - Story: 36925

Kelowna's RCMP Detachment wouldn't run nearly as efficiently without the aid of volunteers.

During his monthly address, RCMP Superintendent, Bill McKinnon, took a moment to recognize those volunteers in front of City Council.

McKinnon says Auxiliary officers put in nearly 13,500 hours in 2007, members of the Police Victim Services Program volunteered more than 5,500 hours while volunteers at the Community Policing Offices put in nearly 17,000 hours.

"If you add up all three programs together, last year at Kelowna detachment, 36,000 hours were volunteered and I think that's a number can match-up against any community in the country," says McKinnon.

"The assistance they bring to the community is just overwhelming. It's a hundred hours a day is what it breaks down to basically and I think that's incredible."

McKinnon says volunteers are a large part of what the detachment is able to do.

He says there are over 400 volunteers at the detachment who assist with more than 32 crime prevention programs.

"We couldn't do that if we didn't have the volunteers that we have."

McKinnon says a new Auxiliary Training Program will begin soon which will bring that force up to over 70.

"Community based policing is getting the community involved in dealing with the issues at hand. Policing is very expensive so we had to find other ways of involving the community."

He says Kelowna is fortunate to have a lot of people who are young and have retired to the Okanagan and are looking to get involved with the police to make the community a safer place to live.

McKinnon says the volunteer hours mentioned are strictly community based hours and do not include the extra work put in by uniformed members.

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