New Brunswick

Fredericton faces shrinking police force

The City of Fredericton is reducing the number of police officers on the force through attrition over the next three years, says the chief.

Retiring officers won't be replaced, says chief

The City of Fredericton is reducing the number of police officers on the force through attrition over the next three years, says the chief.

There are currently 13 or 14 officers eligible for retirement, Leanne Fitch told CBC News, including herself.

When they leave, they will not be replaced, she said.

But it's unclear when that will be. Those 14 officers "could have retired over the last couple of years," said Fitch.

"I would never try to guess when people are going to retire, particularly in this day and age, with the economy the way that it is," she said.

Civilian members of the force could take over some of the retiring officers' duties, said Fitch.

"For example, we've had staff sergeants that have assisted inspectors who have been responsible for overseeing building security, purchase orders, making sure that different equipment is tended to.

"And some of those functions really, quite naturally, fit better with some of our civilian staff, that already have bits and pieces of that type of activity," said Fitch.

Meanwhile, citizens may see more officers in visible policing roles, she said.

For example, an inspector and staff sergeant will now oversee day-to-day policing activity on the neighbourhood action team.

The Fredericton Police Force currently has 113 sworn officers, plus civilian staff.