• Riley Gettens

RCMP Supt. Hunter has arrived.

Updated: Feb 26


Supt. Brian Hunter came by the February 20, 2020 Board meeting. He seems like a great addition to our communities. I've linked below two recent Castanet articles about Supt. Hunter. Some key takeaways from the articles:


  • He has taken a week to observe and has come away with a strong impression that addiction and mental health are a root cause of crime in the community.

  • "What comes with that is a lot of property crime, Penticton has a lot, one of the highest per capita in the province," Hunter said. "My job is to actively investigate those crimes, identify those chronic offenders and hold them responsible through the court system."

  • Hunter plans to focus energy on cops offering help to those they see repeatedly in the RCMP cells, in the form of partnerships with local front-line organizations in the fight against the addiction epidemic.

  • "And not every case is going to be a complete success, but we're going to try for that," Hunter said. "We will not arrest our way out of this. We won't. But that doesn't mean we aren't going to arrest people, we will, and we will do a good job of that."

  • He hopes to bring down the average caseload per officer in the South Okanagan region, which is currently at 113 per officer, by far the highest in the province according to recent data.

  • "We have a lot of work on our plate here, but my goal is to get that crime rate down," Hunter said. "Ultimately, if we had an unlimited bucket of money, that money should be directed toward those who are addicted and those who have mental health issues, to get them the care and recovery they need. If that was taken care of, crime would almost be eliminated when it comes to drugs and property crime."

  • "But I will say this: I am tough on crime."


Links to the full articles:

https://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton/277645/Warm-welcome-for-top-cop

https://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton/276931/tough-on-crime-top-cop


As a side note,

The RCMP federal and provincial funding model results in rural areas contributing very limited funds towards policing.  My property tax bill has my household contributing more to the Okanagan Regional Library ($109) than to the RCMP ($76). A household in Penticton with a comparable value as my family's property pays $711 towards RCMP.


While we all would appreciate more RCMP presence, I do think we get a pretty good return on the investment we make. I know that officers in Summerland and Penticton don't differentiate which officers are paid via 'rural' funds vs 'municipal' funds. They use a closest to the incident priority model.


___


Cover Photo: Contributed and copied from Castanet

More information on police resources:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/law-crime-and-justice/criminal-justice/police/publications/statistics/police-resources.pdf


Thank you for reading and comments are always welcome,

Riley

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