As Mission council continues to debate the amount of this year’s tax increase, one thing is certain – a spending priority is public safety.
The new budget, which currently calls for a tax hike between 0.65 and 2.5 per cent, includes $405,000 earmarked for the hiring of three new RCMP officers. It’s a much needed boost to the local law enforcement agency.
Despite some opinions voiced at a public budget consultation held Tuesday night (story page 3), the Mission RCMP have been in need of more officers for some time.
It has been more than a decade, according to Mission Mayor Randy Hawes, since the district has added any new members to the force.
While doing more with less may be a common philosophy considering the current economic climate, policing is one area that should be an exception.
The plan to hire more officers is not an extravagant move. The Mounties have been under-resourced, and the plan to hire new officers will merely bring the detachment to the appropriate numbers needed to serve the district and the surrounding area.
The additional officers will assist the RCMP to implement one of its new programs – a team designated to deal with prolific offenders. Smaller crimes including metal theft, vandalism, and in some cases breaking and entering, are often committed by the same people over and over again. The new program will focus on these criminals.
Creating an atmosphere of security is a must for any community. You can promote tourism or recreation or even industry, but if people don’t feel the community is safe, they won’t stay.