In a two-hour long session with Town Council, Insp. Sylvie Bourassa-Muise made a case to keep the Shelburne Town RCMP Detachment staffed as it is.
Greg Bennett photo
By Greg Bennett
A RCMP review of its operations in the Town of Shelburne recommends keeping the number of officers as it is, despite a drop in the town’s population over the years.
In a two-hour long session with Town Council, Insp. Sylvie Bourassa-Muise, explained that the Town was paying just slightly more than the provincial average for policing at $261 per capita.
With a staff of two officers and three constables, Supt. Bourassa-Muise said the town was sufficiently policed.
“You’re not under serviced and you’re not over serviced,” she said.
During the session, the RCMP representatives at the meeting highlighted some of the challenges of modern policing, from ever-changing legal responsibilities to new training on issues of domestic violence and use of force.
The RCMP review was requested last spring by the Town.
In December, partially as a protest over a delay in the receiving the report, Shelburne council began the process to reduce the town’s RCMP detachment.
Several councillors have questioned the high cost of policing in the Town, which is slightly more than $650,000 annually.
According to the policing contract it would take up to a year to reduce service levels. Insp. Bourassa-Muise also warned that a reduction could also result in the loss of a member of the Street Crime Unit.
Policing costs represent a large percentage of the Town’s $3.26-million operating budget.
At the end of the meeting, Mayor Karen Matattal expressed her appreciation for the local RCMP service.