Recent History – 2003
April 24, 2003 — Kelly Harris, Daily News Staff
The RCMP are looking for a new person to head up the Dawson Creek detachment. And the group that is famous for “always getting their man” has asked for city council’s help in finding that person.
“It’s to our advantage,” said Councillor Brent Neumann. “They’ll know the issues we want addressed.”
The process of selecting a head of an RCMP detachment has not been open for input from civic leaders before. RCMP gave Dawson Creek council the chance to sit in on interviews, make suggestions and review the background and experience of those vying for the city’s top police position. In turn the city will pick up the tab to bring short-listed members to Dawson Creek for interviews. Council approved the recommendation to assist the RCMP in their hunt and cover pre-selection expenses, expected to be in the $5,000 range.
“It goes along with our made in the Peace policing strategy,” said Mayor Wayne Dahlen. “It’s a very good opportunity.”
Staff Sgt. Larry Flath has been serving as head of the detachment on a temporary basis. It isn’t immediately known if he’ll be applying to remain on as staff sergeant. Traditionally the selection of officers, non-commissioned officers and staff sergeants has been through internal RCMP means.
Regardless of the city helping choosing the new top officer, it isn’t known if the city would have any say in disciplinary action with the new officer if needed.
“There is no indication from the RCMP that we’d be involved with discipline or dismissal processes,” said city chief administrative officer Jim Chute.Dawson Creek taxpayers pay for 70 per cent of local policing costs with no previous input on who would be running the detachment.
According to the report submitted to city council April 7, policing accounts for 21.5 per cent of the city’s net expenditures, “which is by far the single largest departmental amount.”
The process is part of the RCMP’s community outreach in the northern part of the province. Quesnel was the first city in B.C. where councillors were allowed to give input on who would head up their RCMP detachment.