Halifax RCMP seeks more officers focused on domestic violence in next year’s budget

The Halifax RCMP requests two new positions for domestic violence cases in 2024-25 budget. Photo courtesy of the RCMP Nova Scotia Facebook page.
Haeley DiRisio - CKDU - HalifaxNS | 17-11-2023
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The Halifax RCMP are looking to hire seven new members in the upcoming budget. 

During the Board of Police Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, the RCMP presented their 2024-25 budget request that included asking for seven new members. Two of the officers would be designated to handle domestic violence cases.

“Investing in this area would have very positive outcomes,” Chief Superintendent and RCMP officer in charge of Halifax Jeff Christie says.

Officers would get extra training and build relationships with non-profits and shelters dedicated to supporting women. 

In 2022, there were 616 incidents of domestic violence within Halifax RCMP territory, according to the RCMP budget request.

“Inter partner violence is an epidemic in Canada,” commissioner Harry Critchley says, but questioned if police intervention could have unintended consequences.

Critchley referenced that the Mass Casualty Commission (MCC) found the policy framework in domestic violence cases was ineffective. The MCC said mandatory charging in domestic violence cases can endanger victims; the focus should instead be placed on violence prevention. 

“I think we always need to innovate and say how can we do better?” Christie says, adding that investigations will always need to happen due to the level of risk around domestic violence. 

The other five positions requested would include four new front-line officers and a superintendent position. Each officer's position would cost about $179,000 annually.

The Board of Police Commissioners will make a decision on whether they will be endorsing the RCMP’s request before it is sent to the regional council for approval.

Listen to the story below: