DID YOU SKIP THE MEETING? WATCH IT HERE!!!
Staff Sergeant Phil Harrison gave his budget presentation for the RCMP to Council on Tuesday, January 13th. He asked Council to consider hiring two new members.
“The main reason I’m asking for it now is because it does take quite some time to get them and one of them I’m hoping to use as a supervisor,” said Harrison.
He said it is difficult to get members in to Kitimat and the position also goes before the Provincial government.
“It’s taking some time to try and staff positions here. People don’t like paying the high cost of the housing,” said Harrison.
He explained the Shell project expects four more members for their project and he expects the Chevron project would require more then four. Harrison stated some nights, they do not have enough people.
One of the items which came up were two Carbines which Council funded the previous year. They had come up at the previous nights Council Meeting.
“Those two Carbines for $10,000. I did a little research on those today. They are state of the art killing machines. $5,000 for a rifle. Extremely expensive. Especially since the Provincial Government will not do their 8020 cost limit on it,” said Councillor Larry Walker on Monday, January 12th.
He suggested an AK47 could be purchased at a bar in Prince Rupert for $300 and the need to upgrade weapons was a never ending battle in overkill.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff explained this was from a request from the RCMP from last year. He said there was an erosion of RCMP funding over the last few years and there have been a number of add ons, which are mandated on high for local governments to handle, such as the cell upgrades which have come up over the last few years.
Harrison explained to Council on the 13th, the RCMP needed a medium range weapon and the Carbine was selected to fill the role. The shotgun fills the short range role and the rifle fills the long range roll.
Harrison walked Council through several other items which were in the RCMP Supplementary budget.
Mayor Phil Germuth thanked the RCMP on behalf of the people of Kitimat for the work they do to keep the people of the town safe.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff asked how they could encourage further RCMP Members to come to the community and how other communities do it. Harrison replied in some communities, they have force housing. Another community has a stipend to give as a living allowance to purchase housing. Some communities have buildings which are rented out to members.
Councillor Larry Walker asked if Kitimat was too far south to get a northern living allowance. He was told this is correct. Councillor Edwin Empinado asked Kitimat had an incentive to attract RCMP to Kitimat. Harrison stated they no longer have an incentive.
In the past, RCMP Officers who came north could be offered a promotion or a better posting. However, now, they cannot offer promotion. They could offer a better posting afterwards and if there was available house, they could offer that.