Kelowna’s prime cop solution to higher deploy police sources – Kelowna Information

Photo: Nicholas Johansen/file

Kelowna RCMP Supt. Kara Triance

Is sending a police cruiser to a health issue the best use of RCMP resources?

Kelowna’s top cop thinks not.

During a quarterly presentation to city council Monday afternoon, Supt. Kara Triance talked about way of “de-tasking the local RCMP.”

Triance told council as the city deals with issues coming out of the pandemic and the detachment deals with resourcing challenges, she is continually assessing which calls for service the RCMP needs to be responding to.

“I am a strong believer that if we ‘de-task’ the police from attendance to a call for service and assign the appropriate response agency, that we are going to be providing a better service to our community,” said Triance.

“If we are attending a toxic overdose death of a noloxone deployment…are we the right agency to be attending that call. Is that the best use of our police resources, or could there be a health response to that.”

She wondered if some calls could be handled by a street nurse, a street psychiatrist or a social worker.

“Perhaps when an individual is in extreme crisis and violent, then we would be the right agency.

“But, are there levels prior to that where police could not be called? What is the right agency?

Triance suggested changes could be made to the 911. Presently, a 911 caller is asked if their call requires police, fire or ambulance.

She argued a proper question be police, fire or health response and not just ambulance.

“(Ambulance) is a first response to a medical emergency, but perhaps a health response to a social service or less than a Priority 1 response,” she said.

“That is not available to us provincially, but it is an area we are exploring here in the community through the Community Safety Plan.”

She added more questions could be asked to properly triage a situation and get the right response in place.

That way, she says, it could free up police officers to respond to crime and get back to “traditional law enforcement duties.

“That is important.”

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