Penticton can look forward to seeing some new young officers in the community this summer.
On Monday, Penticton RCMP Staff Sergeant Bob Vatamaniuck told the city’s safety and security committee that three officers will be arriving at the detachment from the Depot Training Academy in February 2022.
“These spots have been filled with young cadets straight out of depot who will cut their teeth here,” said Vatamaniuck.
They will go through extensive on-site training and be in their own police cruiser by summer, he said.
This will increase police presence in Penticton and speed up response time, Vatamaniuck added.
These members are filling three of the four recently approved positions, said Penticton RCMP Supt. Brian Hunter. He is working on filling the fourth position.
More officers in Penticton will allow more effort to be put on the RCMP’s prolific offender team, which had to be disbanded for the summer to keep up with the high demand of calls for service.
The team started up again in September and has already contributed to arrests and crimes being solved, said Hunter in a previous meeting with city council.
With city council agreeing to hire three new officers in the 2022 budget, the wheels have been set in motion, said Vatamaniuck.
But much like other industries facing hiring challenges, RCMP is not immune, he said.
“We don’t get the tsunami of applications so it is a bit of a human resource issue,” he told the committee.
But the Penticton detachment is confident they will be able to hire new officers.
“Penticton is a desirable place to live,” Vatamniuck said.
“The city approved three additional officers for the 2022 budget. These three positions must also receive provincial and federal approval prior to the RCMP process of filling the positions,” said Hunter.
City council has approved hiring a total of seven new officers through the 2021 and 2022 budgets. These three officers will be the first ones to arrive.
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