Wildfire Impacts on Police Resources

UBCM has received correspondence from the provincial government regarding potential impacts from the current wildfire situation on local governments that utilize RCMP policing services. Local RCMP detachments across BC may be required to redeploy some of their Members to assist.

There are currently multiple large wildfires threatening several areas in British Columbia. Under the Provincial Police Service Agreement (PPSA) and Municipal Police Service Agreement (MPSA), this situation constitutes a policing “Emergency,” meaning:

  • This is an “urgent and critical situation of a temporary nature that requires additional police resources to maintain law and order, keep the peace or ensure safety of persons, property or communities;” and,
  • Local jurisdictional police do not have sufficient resources to manage the situation within their geographical boundaries.

As per policing agreements involving the federal government, the Province of BC, and BC local governments, resources may be redeployed from one of the following Units:

  • A BC Provincial Police Service Unit;
  • A municipal or federal Unit within British Columbia; and/or,
  • RCMP resources from a different province or territory.

Although a number of resources from the Provincial Police Service have already been deployed to affected areas, local RCMP detachments may be required to redeploy some of their Members to assist. In assessing their local needs and operational ability to assist, detachment commanders should be consulting with local mayors and councils. The Province is required to pay costs associated with redeployment (e.g. Member salary, transportation, maintenance) at the appropriate cost-share.

The Province’s Policing & Security Branch and RCMP “E” Division endeavour to provide consultation and communication as the wildfire situation evolves. Any questions may be directed to Gayle Armstrong, Director, BC RCMP Service Delivery, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General at (604) 398-5409.

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