Members of the Ladysmith RCMP detachment will be out on the streets a little more once an administrative position is filled to handle some of the paperwork that’s keeping them in the office.
Council agreed to provide $68,000 per year in additional funding so that the detachment can boost its complement of support staff to five.
Presently there are four support staff at the detachment, and 13 regular members, Sgt. Ken Brissard told council at their Monday, Feb. 15 meeting.
Increasingly RCMP officers are tied up doing administrative duties, which have to be carried out effectively in order to meet judicial and reporting requirements.
Brissard mentioned tasks like documenting DNA evidence, audits that help improve police services, and coordinating training for members.
He also noted that the amount of time it takes to do the paperwork associated with an arrest and charge has increased dramatically.
He estimated it takes an officer up to nine hours today to process an impaired driving charge, compared to two hours when he was a constable.
“There’s a quantity of duties that we could remove from the plates of our regular members,” he told council.
In effect, he said, adding one more support staff position at the detachment would translate into one additional RCMP officer on the streets of Ladysmith.
“All these duties are currently being done by regular members, and it keeps us from being engaged,” he said. “If you could afford one more support staff, it equals one more member on the road.”
Funding the position won’t cost Ladysmith the full $68,000 in year-one, because it will take up to July of this year to get the posting filled.