Sidney and North Saanich are still three police officers away from a full RCMP complement.
Throughout the summer, the local detachment has been down up to seven officers, following a series of promotions, moves and one officer who left the RCMP to join the Central Saanich Police Service.
Staff Sergeant Wayne Conley told Sidney councillors this week his detachment has three more positions to fill. He expects a cadet out of the Regina training depot to arrive here in October, leaving only two vacancies.
Over the summer, Conley said he was able to get four new officers, including new operations commander Sergeant Brett Sindon. Conley said that was his former job, before he took over as detachment commander late last year. Sergeant Erin Fraser, a long-time officer in Sidney, held that job but left this year after she was promoted to the RCMP’s Island headquarters in Victoria.
Most of the other three new officers are cadets and once they go through six-months of mandatory field training, Conley said he hopes to fill traffic and school liaison positions that have been vacant for some time.
Conley said the local detachment lost a 12-year veteran this year, when they moved to the Central Saanich Police.
He added a large strain on the detachment this summer has been the police deployment to the B.C. interior to help with the wildfire situation there. Conley said the local detachment has been sending one officer per week, or nine members to date. The cost of doing so, he said, is being borne by the province and is not an added cost to Sidney or North Saanich.