ODN has talked with a regional RCMP commander, local MP, Mayor of Oliver and former member of Oliver Safety and Crime Committee
On the job RCMP is doing in the South Okanagan – MP Dick Canning – “morale quite low about pay for work and transfer out of detachments.”
Canning says the “police have yet to get a union after decades of trying. The pay is low when compared to municipal forces. The case load is larger and the demand to work is higher due to a lack of on the road constables and officers.
Martin Johansen says the local Oliver/Osoyoos safety andcrime committee tset to meet Monday but Town has been pro-active with enhanced victim services and apermanent employee hired as bylaw officer, with a plan for a round table task force needed for social interventions.
Johnanen said he has been briefed well in last three months on detachment management issues and has met with Regional Chief Hunter and Cpl. Brian Evans who is interim commander in Oliver.
A number of changes to committee – Cpl Evans (Keremeos) replaces Sgt. Blaine Gervais.
Local citizens Ron Johnson and Pat Hampson not listed any more.
Hampson says the RCMP staffing levels not high enough for community policing a subject he is interested in. Gervais says he has ended his tour of duty as detachment commander and Superintendent Hunter of Penticton says a more permanent commander could take 8 months to a year to find.
All of those we have spoken to concerned about recent crime wave but point out each incident is different, most not directly connected and all would like more resources to look into and deal with root causes – drugs and addiction.