La Ronge Council is considering hiring three additional police officers to focus their efforts more on crime within town limits.
The idea was brought forward by Deputy-Mayor Hugh Watt at a regular meeting Wednesday, after he and Counc. Dallas Everest met with provincial policing and corrections officials earlier this week. Watt said they were presented with three options to reduce crime including hiring a community safety officer (CSO), hiring more RCMP members for $129,000 per year or launching a municipal police force.
“Essentially, we’re renting full-fledged RCMP, and we basically delegate to them and give them direction on what we want to see cleaned up in our community,” he said.
Watt went on to say any RCMP officer they hire would have to commit 70 per cent of their on-duty time to whatever council tasks them to do. He also noted it could be cheaper than the other options available as creating a police force costs up to $5 million and hiring CSOs could be as high as $400,000. Those options, Watt added, means the town would have more employees and higher human resources costs too.
Everest was also supportive of hiring more RCMP officers as the town won’t be responsible for purchasing all the supplies like cars, radios and uniforms. He noted if they sign a memorandum of understanding with the RCMP, the force has one year to fill the positions and if it doesn’t work out as planned, the contract can be cancelled.
“They’re working pretty much for us,” Everest said. “We can tell them what we want in services and we can dictate the hours of operation. We can tell them we want them to work at night instead of during the day.”
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