Town requesting another RCMP member to fill the spot they budget for

The town is looking to get what they pay for when contracting RCMP members.

Bonnyville town council decided on Tuesday to request an additional RCMP member for the Bonnyville detachment in hopes that the number of officers they budget for will also be the amount they receive.

The town says that in 2017-18 they contracted for 13 members but the number they were billed for was 11 members.

“The reality of it once you add sick time and transfers out, cadets from depot, you always had vacancies,” said Mayor Gene Sobolewski.

“In prior years you’d budget for 13 and end up with 11 by the time you’d look at the data at the end of the year.

“How the allocations worked out is we budgeted for 12 and we want 12, and in order to guarantee ourselves 12, we have to request another officer. That’s what we’ve done. We may have a case where we have to pay a little extra. The point is we want 12, we pay for 12 and we want 12 boots on the ground. We want the service.”

In Feb. 2018, council terminated the RCMP Enhanced Position who helped enforce town bylaws.

Now, the Community Peace Officer, who started in January, performs those duties.

That vacancy left open a spot for a new member using the same funding.

The town will request an additional member from the Minister’s Office. Funding for 12 officers is included in the 2019 operating budget.

“Hopefully, they fill the slot for us.”