By Roy L Hales
There is a false report, about the Quadra Island RCMP detachment, circulating on Cortes Island. They are allegedly being shut down. This story appears to have grown out of an idea the RCMP were discussing a couple of years ago and most likely will never be implemented.
Here are the questions Cortes Currents emailed the head of the Quadra detachment, Cpl. Sean Bulford, and his replies.
1. Is this true?
Cpl. Bulford – “No. However, with continued budget constraints and minimal increases in resources for several consecutive years, the RCMP in E-Division (BC) have been looking at ways to maximize the man power we have. They have been looking at many options, one of them is hubbing or regionalizing Detachments. They have been looking at areas that this could work.”
“I can say that when I first arrived on Quadra Island in the spring of 2018, Quadra Island was mentioned as a possible Detachment that could be hubbed. That being said, Senior Management acknowledged that there would be significant logistical hurdles to hubbing Quadra Island Detachment specifically, as we cover several Islands and respond 24/7 by police vessel.”
“There are many other Detachments on Vancouver Island that they would try this with first, and so far they haven’t moved in that direction at all. There has been no further discussion about hubbing Quadra Island Detachment. I have been told there would definitely be public consultation before any such measures were considered.”
2. If so, do you have a date for when this is expected to occur?
Cpl. Bulford – “This is an unlikely scenario and if it does happen, will likely not occur for several years, if at all. If (big if) this were to happen, I imagine members would be assigned to some type of Campbell River Rural section that would have to be created. Members would have to be trained in operating a police vessel so they could respond at any time. I can only speculate on how this would eventually play out if they went this route, as this idea hasn’t even moved to preliminary planning stage.”
“Hope this helps clear the air. I’ve heard this rumour on Cortes myself, and I’ve tried to clear things up when it pops up.”
“I personally don’t feel like Quadra Island would be an option for this type of plan simply because of the geographical area we cover. As you know, a trip from Quadra to Cortes in the middle of a stormy night is a challenge. The waters around the south end of Quadra Island near the Cape Mudge lighthouse can be incredibly treacherous in those conditions, and would impact response times too much, as well as jeopardise officer safety if they were required to attend from Campbell River.”
Some additional insight
Cortes Currents also emailed Cst. Maury Tyre, from the Campbell River RCMP detachment, who threw some additional light on this subject.
Cst. Tyre - “Those kinds of rumours are typically pervasive for small communities and are most often false.”
“The province and the RCMP constantly look at service delivery and resource models, but that does not mean that detachments will be shut down.”
“To the best of my knowledge, I have not heard anything from any official source about shutting down Quadra’s detachment. (it would be odd as it seems that Quadra is a growing, not shrinking community)”
“Because I know there is an interest and concern, I can offer the insight of varying locales that I’ve worked that are satellite offices.”
“For instance, I worked in Klemtu and Kitkatla on the central coast of BC where we would boat in and boat out or fly in and fly out and then stay in the communities for a work block so [as to be] available on call after hours. Both communities maintained a detachment, and when fully staffed would rotate police in/out on the same day, but no office staff (so the communities still get policed the same) . The officers who staff this are separate units inside the hub community’s detachment so there is continuity for the satellite detachment.”
“The savings in situations like that come from running administration in a central location and not having to maintain multiple properties for staff housing, police just stay in a single patrol cabin or bunks in the detachment.”