The BC government is giving $230 million to the RCMP to fund rural policing, specialized units

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The BC government is providing a major infusion of cash to police across the province to bring together specialized units and police forces in rural areas.

Premier David Eby announced late Wednesday afternoon a $230 million investment over the next three years to fill vacancies and increase staffing in specialist units.

The announcement comes after the publication of the government’s plan for public safety on Sunday.

Click to play video: 'BC premier announces $230 million for RCMP rural policing, specialized units'

BC premier announces $230M for RCMP rural policing, specialized units

The funding will ensure adequate and effective levels of policing and law enforcement across the province, particularly in rural, remote and indigenous communities, and in a wide range of specialist teams investigating and preventing complex violent and organized crime.

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“Everyone deserves to feel safe and my government is working on all fronts to protect our communities and make them stronger,” Eby said.

“As part of our Safer Communities Action Plan, we will help ensure the RCMP can operate to its full capacity to keep people safe. The actions today will help stabilize policing and provide our provincial police force with the staffing resources they need to address public safety issues directly.”

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The government has come under fire from the BC Liberals for being soft on crime.

The investment allows the provincially funded regional RCMP units to reach their fully authorized staffing level of 2,602 officers.

Hiring additional officers in specialized units such as the Major Crimes Section, the Sexual Exploitation of Children unit and the BC Highway Patrol is also part of the funding.

These units serve rural and urban communities across the province and can help ease some of the work of municipal police forces, freeing them up to focus on other crime.

“This historic commitment to invest in core RCMP policing funding is a massive undertaking that took two years to achieve,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.

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“Sustained core funding will provide a strong foundation for police resources, enabling police to focus on violent crime and other pressing public safety issues, while delivering on the implementation of the Safer Communities Action Plan and other public safety initiatives. “

Eby was the province’s leader in the money laundering case, and this funding also supports the Cullen Commission’s recommendation.

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The BC government has been forced to respond to public safety concerns due to an increase in the number of repeat chronic offenders and build on concerns raised by Austin Cullen after conducting a public inquiry into money laundering.

Eby’s public safety plan includes launching new co-ordinated response teams for repeat violent offenders.

The teams will consist of police officers, 21 dedicated prosecutors, 21 probation officers, 21 support staff and nine probation officers.

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The province also announced plans to go after the houses, cars and luxury goods of high-level organized criminals who profit from misery by introducing “unexplained wealth order” legislation in the spring of 2023.

But questions remain about how the police will be resourced to deal with the new legislation and manage to seize unexplained wealth.

Click to play video: 'New BC Premier David Eby Announces New Repeat Offender Response Teams, Public Safety Plan'

New BC Premier David Eby announces new repeat offender response team, public safety plan

The government also issued a directive to the Assistant Deputy Prosecutor of the BC Prosecution Service to identify and implement changes to its bail policy.

The directive is that Crown counsel must seek the detention of a repeat violent offender charged with an offense against the person or an offense involving a weapon unless they are satisfied that the risk to public safety can be reduced to an acceptable level by guarantee.

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