Mounties coping with staff shortage, rising crime

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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Local police are still shorthanded with no relief in sight, while crime statistics are expected to increase as summer draws nearer.

The (crime) numbers are up and will probably continue to go up as the months get warmer, Cpl. John James of the Parrsboro RCMP reported to town council at its monthly session on May 22. We possibly could have a (new) member coming here, but thats yet to be confirmed.

Local police are still shorthanded with no relief in sight, while crime statistics are expected to increase as summer draws nearer.

The (crime) numbers are up and will probably continue to go up as the months get warmer, Cpl. John James of the Parrsboro RCMP reported to town council at its monthly session on May 22. We possibly could have a (new) member coming here, but thats yet to be confirmed.

The local Mounties are now short two members, with the retirement of Const. Guy Bergeron earlier this year and the future status of Const. Colin Morton uncertain. Morton, who is now eligible for retirement, has been away from the job since late March and may or may not be returning to duty, according to James.

While a new officer could be transferred here from Saskatchewan, the corporal said such a decision has not yet been finalized, and when it is it could take three months before a new officer is on the streets here.

Were running short, and a lot of all-day shifts are about all we can do right now, he said.

My bosses are aware of the situation, and are aware that things are going to get busier here, but they are also aware that you can only ask people to come in on so many of their days off, he continued. Members need unfettered time off, especially when it gets busier.

Deputy mayor Lloyd Smith expressed his concern about the situation to James, wondering how the detachment plans to handle it when the workload gets heavier in the summer.

I know with it being two members short, the office here is probably doing the best it can do with the resources it has, said Smith. But people can only work so many hours per week.

The local members have been coming in often on their off-days to catch up on their work, according to James, who said he was proud of how they have responded to the need without complaint.

They havent turned down requests for anything, whether its been public relations, school requests or anything else, he said.

But its only so far you can push that cart without a horse.

awagstaff@amherstdaily.com

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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