Dawson Creek keeps full-size RCMP force after community voices concerns about crime spree
The city had been planning to cut 3 full-time positions to save money
Dawson Creek's policing power is back in full force after the city decided to keep all 25 RCMP positions in the upcoming budget.
The city, located in northeastern B.C., had been looking to cut the force down to 22 officers in order to save money. Council unanimously voted down the proposal last week after a public outcry.
"It would have had a ripple effect," said Carina Wingerak, who's married to an RCMP officer in Dawson Creek. "It's not just my family that would be affected."
Wingerak paired up with several other people in the community to voice their concerns about the reduction in officers. She later spoke at city hall against the proposal.
"It's pretty awesome that council did listen to the community, because I believe, at the end of the day, their job is to listen to the community and take in what the community has to say," she told CBC's Daybreak North.
Concerns about crime spike
The cut would have come on the heels of a wave of of separate violent crimes including multiple shootings and a violent home invasion in just two weeks last November.
Commercial break-ins were up by more than 200 per cent last year.
"It's a bit scary out there," Wingerak said. "[My husband] is on call 24/7, so he's backup for that or sometimes he's the first one to get there too and you just don't know [what could happen]."
Wingerak has never been involved in politics before but felt compelled to campaign against the cuts and present her concerns to the council because, she said, it can be "tough" to speak up or complain as an officer.
"Sometimes, they're running on skeleton crews," she said.
"It's important for them to operate at a full staff, not only for me, but also for themselves so they don't have that increased burnout."
The rest of the city's operational cuts, ranging from arts programs to sustainability initiatives, were approved.
With files from Daybreak North