Territory finds funds for four new Mounties in Whitehorse

The territorial government has earmarked $385,000 to bring four more RCMP constables to Whitehorse as well as another administrative clerk to help police with paperwork.

The territorial government has earmarked $385,000 to bring four more RCMP constables to Whitehorse as well as another administrative clerk to help police with paperwork.

When it’s at full capacity, the Whitehorse detachment has six officers working on the streets at any one time.

With the new money that number will get bumped to seven.

“Any time you get additional members, especially in a city our size, it allows a little more flexibility,” said inspector Archie Thompson with the Whitehorse detachment.

That includes the option of having officers take time to focus on specific issues like break-ins or drug trafficking, he said.

“It’s a challenge if you don’t have the resources, and members are going call to call, to pull people off and allow them to focus on things like this,” he said.

“So having these four additional members will certainly be an asset to the city.”

Yukon Justice Minister Brad Cathers said the government has been talking with business owners and the Association of Yukon Communities about concerns surrounding the rise in property crime and drug-related offenses.

“This is one of the things we’re doing, in partnership with the RCMP, in responding to that,” he said.

“It’s intended to allow them to dedicate more resources to targeting crimes including property crimes and drug trafficking.”

Once the territorial budget passes, Cathers will write a letter to the federal government letting them know the Yukon is looking for more officers.

After that, the plan is to have the officers in Whitehorse within a year or sooner, according to Yukon RCMP chief superintendent Peter Clark.

Another message that came out of the conversations with the chambers of commerce was the desire to reestablish a Crime Stoppers program in the territory, Cathers said.

Crime Stoppers allows people to call in tips about crimes, and possibly collect cash rewards, without having to reveal their name.

Yukon Crime Stoppers operated until about the end of 2011, when it shut down in part because of struggles to find volunteers.

Now a new society has been formed. The Yukon Community Crime Stoppers Association will work over the next three to six months to set up the association’s tip line and website.

Crime Stoppers programs fundraise to collect money for tips. They do not accept cash from governments or the police.

Instead the Yukon government has given the organization $21,000 to help with its start-up costs, Cathers said.

“While that money can’t be used to issue any rewards for tips that are provided by the members of the public, it is intended to avoid them having to dip into volunteer donations to do administrative and office related work to make this function.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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