Thompson RCMP acting officer-in-charge Staff Sgt. Chris Hastie outlined the detachment’s policing objectives for the upcoming year to the City of Thompson’s public safety committee May 14.
The priorities include reducing crime by lowering substance abuse, preventing and reducing incidents of youth crime, improving road safety by cracking down on drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs and enhancing relationships between the RCMP and Indigenous people. The detachment is also seeking to contribute to employee wellness by measuring workplace accidents and safety violations and providing appropriate after-care for RCMP officers exposed to traumatic incidents.
“Those are our priorities for this year,” Hastie told the committee members, adding that they are closely aligned with the objectives for the previous year leading up to March 31.
The success of reducing substance abuse and associated crime will be measured by the number of charges laid related to illicit drug distribution. Efforts to reduce youth crime will be measured by the number of educational and awareness campaigns led by community relations officers Const. Sandy Deibert and Special Const. Rob Cleveland as well as the number of youth diverted away from the traditional criminal justice system.
The success of road safety initiatives will be measured by the number of impaired operation charges laid and the number of drivers impaire by alcohol or other drugs stopped in co-ordinated initiatives such as long weekend checkstops.
Community relations officers will be focusing on education, awareness and outreach activities with the region’s Indigenous population and work has already started in that area.
“What we’re doing right now, in light of COVID-19, is we’ve redeployed our public and community relations unit,” Hastie said. “With school being closed right now, they’re doing more outreach in the downtown area, providing guidance on social distancing measures in this area and making visits to 95 Cree as well as the homeless shelter, just putting a face to the police.”
Hastie said the final initiative is aimed at ensuring the best possible workplace for Thompson RCMP detachment members
“We do have a lot of junior members here at the detachment and quite often they’re exposed to traumatic incidents, so just making sure that’s documented, there’s proper after-care,” said Hastie, who says that is a bigger area of focus for the force than it was when he began his career as an RCMP officer. “Things have changed significantly even in my service. I’ve noticed how it’s changed. Now it’s more about making sure the members have the proper follow-up after-care and making sure these incidents are documented.”
Hastie says progress on the five initiatives will be reported to the city every three months.