Vernon / North Okanagan RCMP Detachment Commander Supt. Jim McNamara has 30 years of experience in policing, primarily in operational and front-line duties. He first came here in 2010, as the Operations Officer, in charge of day-to-day operations. The detachment serves a diverse area including Vernon, Coldstream, Spallumcheen, Armstrong, Enderby, Lumby, Falkland and the Splatsin and Okanagan First Nations. Supt. McNamara previously worked in an advisory role for the BC RCMP in its Southeast District office, ensuring RCMP detachments were meeting the expectations of the communities they served. His previous experience also includes watch and operations commands, command of the Tactical Troop, and oversight of crime prevention and victim services for a large Lower Mainland detachment. All his policing service is within BC. He’s integrated the operations of five detachments serving a population of about 82,000 people. His resources include about 100 regular officers, 48 support staff, 17 Auxiliary Constables, 4 Reservists & about 60 volunteers. Policing is expensive! The annual cost of a regular Constable, with benefits & a car, is about $164,000. In 2015, his detachment responded to over 28,000 calls, & held over 2,200 prisoners. His (our) biggest challenge is dealing with property crimes committed by substance abusers, many of whom have untreated mental health issues, due to lack of treatment facilities. He also talked a bit about municipal concerns arising from the requirement that communities of over 5,000 people must pay for 30% of overall policing costs.
Keith Johnston hosted Nicole Makohoniuk & Wendy Aasen, from the Junction Literacy Centre & Teen Junction, where he’s a board member. They described where their funds come from, and how they rely on organizations like ours for a good portion of their food. They also have multiple fund raisers and the youth go into the community on bottle drives etc. if they need to raise money for activities or food that is not in their budget. They are very cost conscious and teach the youth how to prepare healthy meals with limited funds. There are currently 14 regulars at Teen Junction. Some of their regulars do not have a home to go to every night, so they go from friend to friend or sleep on the street. Members found it disturbing to hear that 20% of the children in our country go to bed hungry every night.