The head of the Sackville RCMP detachment has promised to step up traffic enforcement because he feels his officers aren’t writing enough tickets.
“Traffic enforcement, I regret to say, has been down,” Sgt. Eric Hanson reported to Tantramar Town Council at its meeting last week.
“The number of tickets issued by my officers is lower than I’d like; that will absolutely go back up,” he said, also noting that school patrols were set to begin again.
Hanson reminded council that the officers who work out of the Sackville detachment also cover Memramcook, Port Elgin and rural areas in between.
“Some months more than others those territories can be quite busy,” he said.
He added that between July 15 and August 15, officers were especially busy dealing with calls for service from Memramcook.
“So that takes away from some of the other activities they may have done in Tantramar,” he said.
Officer numbers down
Hanson also reported that policing is affected here because four of his officers are on long-term sick leave.
“The way our organization works, there’s no replacement for these people,” he said.
“There isn’t a pool of RCMP officers that we can borrow from when somebody goes off sick; we just have to bear the weight of their loss.”
He said he’s hoping that one of the four will be returning soon, but the other three absences will be lengthy.
“We do apologize, but there’s nothing that I can do about that unfortunately,” he added.
“The others have to pick up the slack and we shuffle the schedule around to try to fill those holes,” he said.
“There’s less traffic work being done; there’s less of that proactive work being done because those who are working are picking up the slack in the investigations and the calls for service that come in.”
Hanson told CHMA’s Erica Butler later that there are 18 officers in his detachment.
With four out on sick leave, it means that the detachment’s numbers are down by about 22%.
NOTE: The 2012 contract for the 10-member detachment that provided policing for the former Town of Sackville says the following in Article 5.5: “Subject to the discretion of the Commanding Officer, no Member will be replaced when attending a training course that is related to the Municipal Police Service, when on annual leave, or ill except where illness results in a Member’s absence for a period of more than 30 consecutive days.”
For a backgrounder on RCMP services in Sackville that Warktimes published in August 2021, click here.