Battlefords RCMP detachment is going to be seeing a change at the top.
Staff-Sgt Jason Teniuk is taking over as the new Officer in Charge of Battlefords detachment from Inspector Tom Beck.
Beck is taking on a new role in Whitehorse, the Yukon. He will still be in charge at the detachment until the end of the month, Teniuk said in his presentation at Battleford town council Monday. Teniuk will be acting for him during that period and Beck will be providing a “little bit of guidance” as they move forward.
In terms of human resources at the detachment, Teniuk reported the detachment is in “pretty decent shape.” He noted a lot of detachments were missing almost half their people, but in the Battlefords it was only “one or two.”
More specifically, they were down one member, with two on light duties, one out sick, and two out on “pat leave.”
“Really, that’s pretty darn good for a detachment this size,” said Teniuk.
Teniuk also reported the detachment is still in the process of getting their First Nations Community Policing Unit up and running. Teniuk said the unit will be dedicated 90 per cent to First Nations, with the other 10 percent of time responding to major incidents.
One opinion Teniuk did express at the meeting was the amount of time detachment members spend on “non-offence codes,” pointing to a stat that those calls have increased by 518 percent over five years.
That includes such things as breaches of the peace, 911 act, mental health act cases, and other such calls that might deal more with social or addictions issues.
That was a concerning statistic to Teniuk, who characterized it as the police having to be “everything to everybody.” That was a concern to Teniuk given their already-stretched resources at the detachment.
“Someone else has to step up to fill this void here because we can’t continue to do that,” said Teniuk, who suggested there might be other options to address some of these issues. “The days of us being everything to everybody are getting thin.”