The position of inspector as the officer in charge of the Terrace RCMP detachment is safe for now.
The national police force was reviewing whether or not the position was justified following the retirement of Inspector Dana Hart earlier this year.
So the promotion last week of Syd Lecky, who had been the detachment’s second in command, from staff sergeant to inspector was welcome news, said Terrace mayor Carol Leclerc.
“But we have it for two years and then it comes up again,” she said.
The challenge, said Leclerc, is that the RCMP has a staffing formula such that when the number of positions needed to justify having an inspector posted to a detachment falls below a certain level, that detachment’s command then falls to a staff sergeant.
“Our position is that Terrace is a long way from anywhere else and we have not only municipal police [officers] but provincial ones and others as well at the detachment,” she said.
“To downsize that would be ludicrous,” Leclerc added of the commanding officer’s position.
What the national police force needs to understand is that the region’s economy is set to grow and when that happens, the RCMP here will be busier, she said.
The area also ranks high in country’s crime severity index calculations.
City council here expressed its position when it was informed of the review by writing a letter to the RCMP.
And Leclerc said she also made personal representations to senior RCMP officers in Prince George.
The numbers of officers who had reported to the inspector at the detachment fell several years ago when those posted to specialized sections such as traffic services and forensics began to report to elsewhere as part of a regionalization shift.
The detachment also housed a regional call service which was then transferred to Prince George when a 911 centre was established.
A step down in the rank of the commanding officer here would end a pattern of more than 30 years that an inspector has run the Terrace detachment.