Tantramar pushed to sign new RCMP contract with 3 more officers for much larger town

Tantramar Treasurer Michael Beal

Treasurer Michael Beal says the federal government suddenly wants to settle Tantramar’s new policing contract within the next few days.

“As of Friday, an e-mail came out that indicated they would need a decision by November 10th,” Beal told council at a budget meeting yesterday.

He said it took until about noon, only three hours before yesterday’s meeting, for the RCMP to grant him permission to use a slide presentation outlining basic information about the level of service Tantramar would receive if council decides to approve a municipal policing service agreement (MPSA) like the one in the former town of Sackville.

And although Beal was given permission to show the RCMP slides to council, he is not free to circulate them to the media or public.

Much bigger population & area

The slides show that the Sackville MPSA covered a population of 6,099 with 10 full-time officers and that the RCMP is recommending three additional officers for Tantramar’s population of 9,019, which is 50% higher.

(Before municipal amalgamation, Dorchester and the former local service districts were covered under a provincial policing service agreement (PPSA) that the province signed with the federal government.)

“The RCMP also looked at geography,” Beal told council as he showed another slide.

“So for Tantramar, we went from 73.91 square kilometres to 703.84 square kilometres of serviceable area,” he said.

Councillor Allison Butcher

Councillor Allison Butcher expressed concern over those numbers.

“My question is [with a] 50% increase in our population [and] almost 10 times the land mass, yet they think only three more officers will be enough. So my concern is, how?” she asked.

Beal answered by pointing to an RCMP slide showing the recommendation for three additional officers was based on the increase in population, geographic size and workload associated with the university.

“A 50% increase in population doesn’t necessarily mean an increase of 50% in call volume,” he said, adding that the RCMP is also recommending that additional officers who police other areas including Memramcook, Strait Shores and the TransCanada highway be retained within the Sackville detachment.

These officers operate under a PPSA, federal-provincial contract.

Beal was hesitant to cite RCMP staffing numbers, but did say there were always between 10 and 14 PPSA officers working out of the Sackville detachment in addition to the 10 who policed the former town.

“So this would go to 13 municipal members plus still between 10 and 14 provincial members working out of this building.”

RCMP vacancies

He acknowledged, however, that Sackville’s full complement of 10 was down to only between seven and eight recently partly because of problems the RCMP faces in recruiting new members.

In August, Sgt. Eric Hanson also  told council, four of his officers in the Sackville detachment were on long-term sick leave.

Beal said he would invite RCMP representatives to meet with council at its next regular meeting on Tuesday.

In the meantime, he’s recommending that Tantramar sign a municipal policing service agreement with the federal government because it would give the town greater control over policing than a federal-provincial contract would.

If council does approve an MPSA with three additional officers, Beal said it would take some time to get them because under the contract, the RCMP would have up to a year to bring the full complement of officers up to 13 and may need additional time to recruit them.

“So, it is a process,” he said. “But the RCMP has committed that they will not leave any municipality short-handed while this process happens.”

To watch the council discussion on YouTube, complete with RCMP slides, click here and scroll forward to the 11 minute mark.

This entry was posted in RCMP, Town of Sackville, Town of Tantramar and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tantramar pushed to sign new RCMP contract with 3 more officers for much larger town

  1. Percy Best says:

    I don’t remember anything being mentioned during Monday’s Town Council meeting about the fact that Dorchester Penitentiary is now in the Town of Tantramar. That massive stone facility on the hill is PRIORITY ONE when it comes to requests for RCMP action and investigations on incidents that happen there and those investigations seem to take forever.

    I’m wondering what kind of ‘new’ drain there will be on actually having officers look after the law abiding citizens who will be paying for their services. Will it end up that even fewer officers will be available when one needs them?

    I also wonder how many officers WERE assigned to look after the 3,000 or so that are now added in to the 6,000 Sackville residents who now give us the 9,000. If there were 4 officers on average assigned to them, then we will be cutting back one from what is already there.

    Clarification, from the closed shop RCMP, is definitely needed for the citizens of Tantramar. Just for a moment consider how the Town of Amherst is policed and how their police force seems to be so accountable to their citizens. The Amherst Police Force is also overseen by their amazing involved Citizens Advisory Committee which Tantramar certainly needs to look at forming immediately.

    • Wayne Feindel says:

      Tantramar already has an Citizens Advisory Committee called Committee of the Whole. The social history of policing is much more complex then twenty years ago. Essentially, the concept of a citizen is dead in Tantramar and spreading across the western world. The flawed restructuring of municipalities as a substitute for autonomous local government served by a deliberative responsible government does not exist. Council needs to understand that they are now responsible for the continued erosion of democracy.
      How many slaps in the face do you need. Ham strung from the get go. Wow !!! Wards or election purposes only. Really? When two DEC members were standing in their respective communities’ defending their wards (sub-districts) no one told the parents it was for election purposes only. Six months later, “Dear Mr. Feindel, As you are aware…..as a result you are suspended……you must not represent to anyone that you are a member in good standing.
      At least a dozen DEC Members over the years refused to sign off of on their 100 million budgets, ” with out seeing where there was room to serve the public. ” CBC news. Mary Laltoo
      1, You didn’t get to hire your one employee the CAO.
      2. Mayor declared he was going to break custom and vote every time.
      3. The procedure structure would be “committee of the Whole” used to receive presentations from standing committees rather than edited briefs from staff which are toilette paper versions of real reports.
      4. to date not even an advisory committee, just approve staff recommendations. There is a well known game that municipalities play with contractors. Your mega multi-phase flood mitigation project is perfect place to have oversight. As councilor assigned to water and sewerage I took courses. I still receive updates on “Trenching and Excavation Safety”. Not knowing that the whole project site is on Atlantic Canadas most common soil is soil of __________ , Tantramar are formed from organic materials so in away if research was done there would be no surprises. either on Water Street of the “black stuff” It has a name you know. . Did you know that seven of Canada’s ten soil orders can be found in Atlantic Canada. Sorry I digress. Anyway , maybe council should use the basics Slope it, Shore it, shield it.
      5. No correspondence
      6.No questions please
      7. No bills to pull to review
      8.Sorry staff is working on that By-law (That’s your responsibility being a policy-maker.
      9. Steward of the budget. Planning to connect council with its citizens.
      Is there anything that you do other than rubber stamp.
      So yes! Be sure in your motion to form any Committee’s where you are treated so disrespectfully. All these crazy psychological pathogens in the news that seems to bring ever more crazy stuff, incompetence, arrogance, excess and just plain inconceivable nincompoopery.
      Council does not want to be in the day to day decision making of the CAO and staff.
      BUT! But to make policies and chart a course for the community’s future we need to know what those day decisions are and how they are made. FACTS PLEASE !1 I have a Question..whoops ,sorry in an intellectual Gulag Isthmus.

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