Housing may help RCMP recruitment

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County is urging RCMP authorities to provide housing as an incentive to recruit officers to the High Prairie region.
At its regular meeting Oct. 26, council approved a briefing document to lobby RCMP.
Big Lakes requests “that the RCMP introduce a housing program for the Town of High Prairie to help with recruitment and retention of more experienced officers”, the document states.
“We’re asking the RCMP to do a study,” says Brett Hawken, director of community and protective services.
High Prairie RCMP detachment has a high turnover rate and is constantly looking to fill positions, specifically supervisor roles, the document states.
Historically, a lot of the roles that are filled in the detachment have been from new recruits out of RCMP Depot.
“Having roles filled by fresh recruits requires a lot more training to be done by senior staff which is an added cost for the RCMP and the level of service is lower until new officers are trained,” the document says.
Currently, the detachment has three vacant supervisor positions and historically, those senior roles have been the hardest to fill for the High Prairie detachment.
“Not having a housing program in a northern rural and remote community has two major downsides,” the document says.
“We lose out on good candidates to other communities that have a housing program.
“Individuals are worried that if they move and buy a house in a community like High Prairie, when the time comes for a promotion or a new posting, they may not be able to sell their house and hinders them from new opportunities.
“Therefore, they don’t even look at applying in High Prairie.”

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