B.C. considering auxiliary policing options

Following the recent decision by RCMP National Headquarters to terminate its previous Auxiliary Program on April 1, 2020, B.C. is evaluating options for the continued delivery of auxiliary policing services across the province.  Options under consideration are consistent with a recent motion made by the UBCM Executive. 

The current option available for potential interim implementation is Tier 3, under the new Auxiliary Program, which is different from the previously implemented program due to new training and uniform requirements.

As part of an Auxiliary Program safety review that began in 2014, the RCMP elected to replace its old Auxiliary Program with a tiered model that allows contract partners to choose one or a mixture of tiers based on local needs and circumstances. Additional amendments include developing a national training standard and creating high visibility uniforms to increase the safety of Auxiliary Constables.

UBCM’s Executive and the RCMP Local Government Contract Management Committee have expressed concerns regarding the new program, largely due to the RCMP’s proposed uniform that includes a ball cap and the word “Volunteer” prominently displayed. The provincial government has supported many of these concerns. 

However, the RCMP remains committed to implementing the new Auxiliary Program without adopting any of the changes requested by UBCM and the Province. This has prompted the Province, with the support of UBCM, to examine the following options:

a)  Develop and implement a BC-only program (long-term solution): UBCM has requested a BC-only program that would address local concerns. It is understood that this program could take upwards of 2-years to develop and operationalize.

b)  Temporarily implement the new Auxiliary Program, Tier 3 (short-term solution): This is the only auxiliary policing option currently available in BC. Provincial implementation of this program would allow local governments to decide to opt-in and pay the associated costs. Once the Province develops a BC-only program, this would eventually replace this temporary solution.  

Local governments with an active RCMP Auxiliary Program received correspondence from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, seeking to gauge the level of interest in the temporary implementation of the new federal Auxiliary Program. The letter also contains pertinent information regarding timelines and costs, which would only apply to those who opt-in to the new Auxiliary Program.  

The interim implementation is only being offered to local governments that were active as of March 31, 2020, with the previous Auxiliary Constable Program. After the interim Auxiliary Program has been implemented, consideration will be made to expand the interim implementation of the new RCMP Auxiliary Program to all local governments.

For more background information regarding the RCMP Auxiliary Program and UBCM advocacy to date, please see the UBCM Community Safety webpage.

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