As the head of RCMP in Saskatchewan touts low job vacancy rates, people living in rural areas still have concerns about police response.
RCMP Commanding Officer Mark Fisher addressed a large crowd at the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) convention in Regina Thursday.
Fisher said since he started in late 2018, there’s been a “significant drop” in vacant positions in the province.
“We’re down to around two per cent right now, which is the lowest it’s been in years in this province,” he said, adding it was nearly 10 per cent a year a half ago.
“That obviously has an impact on the number of officers that are deployable in communities, and filling those vacancies and increasing presence in communities.”
Fisher couldn’t provide an exact number of vacant positions in Saskatchewan, but noted the reduction is due to an influx of 90 recruits from RCMP depot.
“Each year we submit a number of what we feel is affordable, and what we in the province agree to take on in a cadet allotment, and then as long as depot can supply those cadets, that’s what we move forward with,” he said.
He also noted RCMP were seeing “good reductions” in property crimes in certain areas across the province.
“When we hear about rural crime, a lot of it is around property crime and thefts from farms and rural residents and a sense of invasion, and it is — it’s a very personal crime,” he said, crediting the rural crime network and police prevention teams for the reduction.
“When we have a significant property crime and there’s something we feel the public could help us with … we’re getting that information out much quicker and it’s led to some significant property recoveries.”
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