The head of the Nanaimo RCMP detachment says “proactive” drug investigations will take a bit of hit because the city isn’t hiring new officers this year.
Superintendent Mark Fisher made the comments during his quarterly report to Council, after being asked about the impact of the decision.
Fisher was also asked why the detachment needs more officers if crime is going down. He says one reason is having to deal with more mental health calls.
Although Council voted not to hire 3 general duty officers in 2014 they did approve hiring one civilian support worker.
It was a close vote, but Nanaimo Councillors have decided to keep the budget as is, meaning a 2.5 per cent tax increase.
They debated dropping 3 items from the budget to get the increase down to 2.2 per cent: An $80-thousand fire pump for the harbour patrol boat Osprey, $165-thousand for the housing legacy fund, and $50-thousand for financial performance audits.
In the end, Councillors voted 5-4 in favour of keeping the items on the books, so now the formal budget bylaws can be ready for Council on April 28th.