Police study recommends four more Mission Mounties

More police officers would allow for an increased focus on proactive duties

Mission needs four more Mounties to adequately police the district proactively, according to a Police Resourcing Methodology study conducted by RCMP’s E Division.

There are 53 members at the local detachment, six are funded by the province and one is a civilian analyst. Officers are assigned to departments, such as community response unit and general investigation, and traffic.

Twenty-four officers are general duty front-line members attending calls and investigating files. These officers have about 21 per cent of unallocated time to focus on police priorities and proactive duties, such as patrolling problem areas and crime prevention. According to the study, Mounties should have 25 to 35 per cent of unallocated time; an additional four members would bring that number up to 31 per cent.

Each detachment has unique needs and the report indicated Mission police are managing the most files per member, compared to their counterparts in the rest of the Lower Mainland. Mission also received the second highest calls for service per member and charge rate per population.

“Mission is a busy detachment and it’s renowned for being busy at every level,” said Insp. Richard Konarski, officer in charge of the Mission detachment.

A lot of problems and people police deal with are Mission based, Konarski added.

Police have a crime reduction strategy and work with community partners to address some of these issues. If there are other agencies at the table, there are more tools to use, he explained.

“Each community has to make decisions based on priorities and what’s important,” he  noted. “I try to do everything I can to maximize what my officers are doing and work with agencies.”

In January, police are changing the way they respond to alarms in an attempt to free up time and resources.

“We’re looking to move towards a verified response protocol,” said the inspector, noting 95 per cent of alarms are false.

Each additional officer will cost the district about $135,000 a year, or just over a half million dollars.

It’s a expense that Mission’s Mayor Ted Adlem isn’t prepared to pay for at this time.

“It’s their wish list,” said Adlem about the report, which was originally presented to council at a closed meeting and discussed. “It’s all part of the budget process.”

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