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Criminal record check backlog

RCMP want the city to buy them new finger printing equipment that it says will reduce the wait time for criminal record checks.

RCMP Insp. Lyle Gelinas told city council Wednesday that since legislation came down last July requiring all fingerprints be sent electronically to Ottawa for screening, people are having to wait as long as five months for their criminal record checks to be complete.

Campbell River RCMP currently have 64 paid criminal record check applications and 160 volunteer applications sitting in the queue.

Gelinas explained that it takes local RCMP four to five weeks to administer a criminal record check because there is such a backlog and not enough staff. Then, it takes another 120 days to get the results back from Ottawa.

“Individuals are finding they are unable to take positions because they can’t get their criminal record checks back fast enough,” said Andy Laidlaw, city manager. “City staff believe the impact on the community is significant and support purchasing the equipment.”

The fingerprint machine comes at a cost of $20,000 but that also includes training, said Gelinas.

“If council goes ahead with the purchase of the equipment, it will expedite the timeframe,” he said.

With the new equipment, it’s expected to reduce the turnaround from Ottawa to 10-14 days.

The new machine is similar to a laptop. The fingerprints are taken on the equipment and then sent off through the computer.

Coun. Andy Adams suggested dollars from gaming grants be put towards the cost of the machine but council voted to defer any decision-making until its next council meeting, April 12.

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