P.E.I. RCMP change role of auxiliary police officers
'Essentially the whole program is under review at the moment'
RCMP on P.E.I. say the role of auxiliary constables is undergoing a major change across the country — they're no longer allowed to ride along on patrol and will not be given firearms training.
The auxiliary officer program was introduced in Canada in 1963 to enhance community policing and crime prevention.
"There's no more ride-alongs with the regular members," said Cpl. Scott Stevenson, RCMP media relations officer for P.E.I.
"They are not out on patrol like they used to be and they are not receiving any more firearms familiarization training. So essentially the whole program is under review at the moment," said Stevenson.
The decision comes after an RCMP review following the fatal shootings of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo in Ottawa in 2014 and Const. David Wynn in St. Albert in 2015.
Auxiliary Const. Derek Bond was also shot that January evening in St. Albert, but his injuries were not life-threatening.
Crime is becoming more violent, said Stevenson, and the RCMP want to ensure the safety of auxiliary members.
"There is a national committee in headquarters in Ottawa made up of various divisions across the country to see how the program is going to evolve," said Stevenson. "We are looking at more of a community-based policing model."
That means the auxiliary officers — P.E.I. has about 30 of them — would likely help out with school talks and presentations, and may wear different uniforms.