Cranbrook RCMP are asking the city for support to hire more staff, saying they are in a critical situation.
City council voted to defer the decision until their budget meetings in early 2023, but approved funding for temporary support and administrative positions.
Cranbrook officials said local RCMP are looking to fund 28 members starting on April 1, 2023.
The decision also included authorization to send a memo to the B.C. government requesting an additional two members, increasing the detachment to 30 officers, plus money for 2.5 watch clerk positions starting July 1.
Staff Sgt. Barry Graham said Cranbrook RCMP are in a critical situation in terms of staffing.
“We’re vulnerable, I’m not going to lie. We’re a retirement or two or an injury away from implosion on the regular member and support staff side,” said Graham.
Graham noted that the request also asks for $65,000 for temporary administrative support and training, with funds for a watch clerk for six months.
“Part of the request is for someone to help expand the coverage for the watch, give them a few extra hours every night,” said Graham. “We’re asking to have the funds to train some of the people to actually do the positions in our office.”
Graham noted that the department has gone down to one staff member on-shift at night recently.
Graham said the department is trying to get discussions going early, so they can get the situation addressed sooner rather than later.
“This is a four-to six-month process to even get the positions created and then they have to be staffed. It’s dire, I wouldn’t be putting this forward if it wasn’t dire.”