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Province promises to hire more police


The province is providing the RCMP $230 million over three years to fill nearly 300 vacancies.

Newly minted Premier David Eby, made the announcement – his fourth since Sunday – late Wednesday afternoon.

He said while a good portion of the money will go to rural police detachments, some money will flow to build up specialized units. That includes major crimes, child exploitation, and highway patrol. There's also money to address anti-money-laundering recommendations from the Cullen Commission.

"It's important to recognize that when it comes to the issue of public safety, no one agency is going to be able solve this problem," Eby said. "The police isn't going to be able to solve it by themselves. That's why government's taking an integrated approach."

On Sunday, Eby announced a "Safer Communities Plan," which focuses on both enforcement and intervention.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth estimated there were about 277 vacancies in provincially funded RCMP detachments and specialized units. He said beefing up special units could also help alleviate pressures on the front lines.

"If you don't have the officers in place and you've got too many vacancies, then you're taking officers who could be working on specialized teams to backfill those other positions in terms of core policing," Farnworth explained.

There's no timeline for when the RCMP will be fully staffed.

The opposition says it's been calling for this money for years, including during the 2020 election.

On Twitter, Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon accusing the government of dragging their feet.

"Every single day those positions have remained unfunded is a day when British Columbians have faced serious public safety concerns," Falcon wrote. Top Stories

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