Crime Stoppers Regional Coordinator Al Sismey attracted the attention of Regional District Okanagan Similkameen Board of Directors as well as regional media last week.
Sismey discussed his apprehensions over potential changes to the program after a previous one on one discussion with RCMP Superintendent Kevin Hewco about the role Crime Stoppers plays in the region.
Sismey feared Hewco’s plans would bring the program’s operation more closely under the operating wing of the RCMP – at least that was what Sismey claimed.
But later in the discussion, Sismey admitted that Hewco felt that, based on a work load of 400 tips annually, the Crime Stoppers Coordinator’s job really wasn’t a full time position.
The position is funded by the regional district to the tune of $65,000 annually. Up until now, it would appear that there has been very little oversight by the regional district as to whether they were getting their money’s worth or not.
Former RCMP detachment commanders have apparently failed to raise the issue, as have past regional boards, so now that Superintendent Hewco has opened the can of worms, maybe its time for some scrutinization of the position by those who are footing the bill – the regional district.
There are communities in the regional district who have been asking for programs like Speed Watch – Area “D” Director Tom Siddon has expressed a desire to see such a program on Lakehill Road in Kaleden, for instance.
Working with Superintendent Hewco’s recommendations, this might be an ideal opportunity for the regional district to find a way to provide such extra police services within the present budget.