Contracting out RCMP detention guard services costs three jobs

The contract for this service permits the RCMP to opt for another service provider

An RCMP decision to contract out jail guard services will cost three city employees their jobs.

The Campbell River RCMP detachment has given notice that it will contract out detention guard services currently offered by city employees.

The announcement that the Corps of Commissionaires will be contracted to provide this service will mean layoffs for three full-time employees, and also affect six auxiliary employees, working as police guards. The change would take effect in approximately 90 days.

“Our main concern is for the wellbeing and employment of these employees,” says Ron Bowles, the City of Campbell River’s general manager of corporate services. “We will begin working with the CUPE Local 401 immediately to review potential opportunities for these employees to move into other City job vacancies.”

The contract for this service permits the RCMP to opt for another service provider, which has been done in other BC communities, including the Comox Valley.

“This is entirely a decision of the RCMP, based on their assessment of the service required for the safe operation of the high-risk cellblock area,” Bowles says, adding: “The RCMP anticipates this change in service providers will offer a slight savings to City of Campbell River taxpayers.”

The City of Campbell River pays approximately $8.5 million for policing services.

The Campbell River RCMP detachment responds to an approximate average of 13,000 calls for service each year, and houses approximately 1,700 prisoners per year.

The detachment has 52 members, 43 funded by the City of Campbell River and nine funded by the Province of British Columbia.

The City also provides administrative support staff, 24 permanent and 12 auxiliary.

There are also four federal public service employees for the detachment.