Sooke RCMP are looking to add more members on their force, but they will have to seek approval from the District of Sooke before doing so. They say they need five additional members to accommodate 24-hour coverage of the region. (File - Black Press Media)

Sooke RCMP are looking to add more members on their force, but they will have to seek approval from the District of Sooke before doing so. They say they need five additional members to accommodate 24-hour coverage of the region. (File - Black Press Media)

Sooke needs more officers to accommodate 24-hour coverage

District’s official community plan calls for 1 officer per 1,000 people

RCMP are looking to add another police officer to the Sooke detachment to get a step closer to accommodating 24-hour coverage.

Seventeen police officers are stationed in Sooke – 13 as municipal officers and four as provincial – not enough to serve the region around the clock, Staff Sgt. Brett Sinden told Sooke council recently.

Sooke needs 22 officers, Sinden said.

Sooke RCMP patrol a vast area from East Sooke to Port Renfrew.

The Sooke detachment has consistently been behind in staffing for the region. The provincial standard for an RCMP member to the public is 1-for-744 residents, but Sooke is currently at 1-for-1,100.

If Sooke RCMP stay on track with the district’s official community plan to have one officer for every 1,000 people, they should have an additional officer in 2020 and 18 municipal officers by 2028.

If Sooke RCMP adopted one officer’s provincial standard for every 744 people in municipalities under 15,000, they should have had 19 municipal officers in 2019 and working towards 24 municipal officers by 2028.

Currently, Sooke is in the initial stages of developing its budget to accommodate another police officer by 2022, presented to council on Nov. 9.

Financial services director Raechel Gray said council is aware of the RCMP’s request for more officers and will be working closely with police to figure out the best time to bring extra members onto the force.

READ MORE: Sooke RCMP traffic stop leads to arrest of five people, seizure of drugs, pipe bomb and counterfeit money

Sooke has an extra member that isn’t being funded through the municipality or province budgets. “It’s been a bonus to have him, but we won’t have that forever,” Sinden said.

Sgt. Kevin Shaw from Sidney RCMP transferred to Sooke in March on a limited time-frame to accommodate another member. He’ll be assigned as the operations commander within the detachment, leaving a hole in a municipal position, plus an already vacant spot in the provincial position. That leaves two spots open on the force.

In 2019, police officers spent 78 per cent of their time responding to municipal calls and 22 per cent on provincial calls, which falls near in line with how staff resources are allocated.

“We are moving ahead in that direction [to bring an additional RCMP member] with staff recommendations,” said Mayor Maja Tait. “We’re just waiting to find out how the numbers will work out, but at this point, the council is supportive.”

ALSO READ: UPDATE: Search for missing Beecher Bay woman ends in loss


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

RCMPSooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner’s report confirms cause of death of three men at Sooke River in 2020

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen drown while ‘puddle-jumping’ in pickup truck

The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

Don Devenney is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Community Builder of the year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore volunteer’s efforts an exercise in adventurous pursuits

Don Devenney is the 2021 recipient of the Community Builder Award

Sergeant Francis Dion with the box containing HMCS Calgary’s new secret mascot costume. (HMCSNCSMCalgary/Facebook)
A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Most Read