Community policing office establishes mandate

By on February 7, 2018
Marlene Jones is the co-ordinator at the community policing office.


After spending the better part of a year searching for a new mandate for the Community Policing Office (CPO), the city’s police committee has settled on one it had in its back pocket all along.

Early last year, CPO co-ordinator Marlene Jones began developing a set of strategic priorities with Const. Tracy Dunsmore — the RCMP’s liaison with the group — which comes complete with a mandate and mission statement.

“This is something that I started working on, sort of day one, which was Feb. 6 of last year,” Jones told the committee.

“The CPO works with community partners to identify the root causes of crime and through education and awareness, strives to prevent and reduce crime and improve livability in our community,” the document’s mission statement reads.

The police committee then carried a motion to bring the document forward to city council at its  Feb. 13 regular meeting to make it the official mandate for the CPO.

Merritt’s community policing office operates community policing programs every year on behalf of the city and the local RCMP detachment, which sets its priorities for the office.

Last spring, the city’s police committee decided to have a mandate crafted for the CPO office based on templates from other detachments, but no such documents were found.

“There’s no set mandate for community policing just because each detachment is different,” Dunsmore told the committee at its Jan. 23 meeting.

The committee had been intent on creating a rough draft of a CPO mandate from scratch, but opted to bring forward Jones’ document instead.

“We’re going to take a look at this because I think it’s work well done,” Menard said at the January committee meeting.

The strategic priorities of the CPO include promoting prevention, education, intervention and reduction of crime. Strategic priorities of the mandate are drug and alcohol awareness, improving the image of spirit square, bike and motor vehicle act education, as well as youth and community engagement.

“Community policing is kind of everything the guys at the detachment don’t do,” said Dunsmore. “We work with the community, so prevention programs [and] community programs like citizens on patrol, speed watch, Crimestoppers.”

Merritt’s CPO has existed since 2007.

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