Community policing office to get new mandate

By on May 18, 2017
Police files. (Herald files).

RCMP Const. Tracy Dunsmore.

After about a decade in operation, the City of Merritt’s community policing office (CPO) is getting a mandate.

At the City of Merritt police committee meeting on Tuesday (May 16) members of council decided to craft such terminology based on existing templates.

“I would imagine that other cities that have community policing offices would have a mandate, especially some of the larger cities, [so] maybe [we should] borrow one of theirs just to see what it looks like and go from there,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Sheila White.

Coun. Dave Baker suggested having Const. Tracy Dunmore — the RCMP’s liaison with the CPO — examine any templates the police committee decides to build their own mandate from.

Merritt Mayor Neil Menard suggested that White pick “two or three” mandates from other cities for the police committee to review before getting Dunsmore’s input.

“Then we’ll just wait until you have a sit down with Tracy, and then we’ll get Tracy to come in and have a sit down with us, or tell you, yes, no or whatever,” said Menard.

At Tuesday’s meeting, City of Merritt deputy clerk Carole Fraser said the CPO also has no terms of reference.

She said that at a police committee meeting last April, Dunsmore did outline the directive the office operates under currently, which is to provide to community with preventative intervention and education.

Menard said that directive will be added to the mandate the city crafts for the CPO.

Merritt’s community policing office operates community policing programs every year and the local RCMP detachment sets the priorities for the office, community policing officer Tracy Dunsmore told the Herald.

“We try and focus on those as well — what are the priorities for the community and for the detachment, and where can we run programs that fit in with those priorities,” said Dunsmore.

Volunteers and a paid co-ordinator of the CPO operate crime prevention programs in town such as block watches, speed watches and foot patrols.

The CPO was started as a pilot project by the city back in 2007.

The next police committee meeting is scheduled to take place in September.

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