On Tuesday, September 6th, National President David Neufeld, along with Regional Vice-President, Valda Behrens, visited the Behchoko Detachment in the Northwest Territories. Also present for the visit were Local President, Samuel Bourget (X0149 Yellowknife RCMP / Justice / PPSC) and PSAC REVP for the North, Lorraine Rousseau.
President Neufeld took the opportunity to discuss the Detachment Services Assistant Report with Staff Sergeant Geoffrey Peters, Detachment Commander for the Behchoko Detachment, and the two DSAs who work on site. They emphasized that DSA training is especially important in these small, isolated detachments (Behchoko lies 110km outside Yellowknife) and that the RCMP must offer a training program that better supports DSAs in their work.
It was evident that our members constitute the operational backbone of the detachment and how essential their assistance proves for the Regular Members when executing their duties. President Neufeld was pleased to hear the heartfelt acknowledgement of the value of our members’ contribution at the detachment level and how their knowledge of their home community plays a key role when it comes to responding to emergencies.
When asked what could be done to make their jobs easier, the issue raised was a better internet connection to the detachment. The USJE members clarified that it is often difficult to get a stable and reliable internet connection and that this also affects their ability to participate in required training. Workload efficiencies was also identified in the DSA Report as a cause of potentially negative effects on the mental health of our members.
The Behchoko Detachment continues to experience an increase in need for services and a consequential rise in the number of Regular Members. President Neufeld pointed out that, with the need for more officers, there should be an equal need for more Public Service Employees to keep up with the increased workload. President Neufeld and RVP Behrens plan to address the issue with the Commanding Officer.