Thorsby and Breton RCMP Under One Roof?
May Metke, former Mayor of Warburg, pitched a concept initiative to a warmly receptive Warburg Council at the August 8, 2011 regular meeting. Metke explained how consolidating the Thorsby and Breton RCMP detachments in Warburg would be mutually beneficial.
An RCMP presence in Warburg could save the Village money by having the RCMP do by-law enforcement, provide future housing opportunities for staff, and be a “draw” for new families looking to relocate to the Village.
Eliminate Duplication of Services
Metke noted, “Duplication of services is resulting in increased operating costs for the organization and overall general inefficiencies. Curbing the inefficiencies and duplication will result in an improved delivery of service to the public.” RCMP would save on duplicated expenses such as utilities, service contracts (office equipment rentals, shredding services, stand-alone internet used for investigations), and in expendable supplies and duplication of equipment (breath analysis machines, and gym equipment, respectively).
Consolidation under one roof would “return money to the current operating budget to purchase more equipment to allow the police officers to better perform their duties,” said Metke. It would also lead to better sharing of information and intelligence and more efficient management of data bases. Maintaining files at one building would allow greater efficiencies in audits and data verification.
If you have ever encountered difficulties while trying to secure a criminal record check, you would find that a centralized support staff would reduce wait times because they would be able to share responsibilities that are currently being performed in both locations.
Officers would have access to a combined fleet of all police vehicles, a bonus when one is down for repairs or being used for training. Currently, both detachment supervisors must travel an hour between detachments to provide support and resolve issues. Putting both RCMP units under one roof would eliminate this time inefficiency.
The overall net result of consolidation is increased levels of policing to the communities due to streamlining management oversight.
Metke adds a new building, large enough to house all staff would make a more work-friendly environment than both units now enjoy.
What is the Village’s role?
The Village would have to “put out the initial costs for the building,” said Metke. There would have be an “agreement to recoup partial costs from the sale of the Thorsby and Breton buildings.” Grants and loans could be obtained through the Village for the detachment, which could be located on annexed land by the highway where it would be “very visible.”
Warburg Mayor Dawson Kohl said this initiative would be “at the top of Council’s upcoming budget talks.”