Review of March 28, 2022 Special Council Meeting

Cumberland Municipal Council approved a resolution instructing the CAO to initiate a review of policing services options at a special meeting here on Monday, March 28, 2022.

The request for a review came after months hearing serious and consistent concerns, from all corners of the municipality about the level of resources committed to Cumberland County by the RCMP to provide policing services. The review will follow the protocol set out by the Nova Scotia Department of Justice for a review of policing services options.

“Since we’ve come to office, we have been inundated with complaints about the lack of police presence across the municipality. It’s become clear to us that, with the staffing level being consistently significantly below the approved compliment, this is a resource allocation issue at the RCMP national and provincial level. The municipality pays for the full compliment whether they available for duty or not. It’s important to Council that we very clearly state that the initiation of this review is in no way a reflection on the competence, dedication, or professionalism of all RCMP members currently serving the Cumberland District RCMP” Mayor Murray Scott said on behalf of Council.

Council asked the CAO to provide a report within the month of April addressing the logistics and estimated timeline for the review as well as a draft terms of reference. Upon receipt of the CAO’s report Council is expected to consider the formal motion to conduct the review, setting motion what is expected to be a process that will take 12 to 18 months.

In fiscal 2021/22 the municipality paid just over $4.7 million in policing costs. The Department of Justice has advised that this will increase by 11.04 % in fiscal 22/23. This amounts to an increase of $517,000 to a total of $5,218,000. This does not account for a potential retroactive billing related to the unionization of the RCMP ranks.

A Facebook live recording is available on the municipal Facebook page: