USJE and RCMP making headway on Detachment Services Assistants Report recommendations

A progress report on the ongoing initiative to improve working conditions for Detachment Services Assistants (DSAs) was part of a recent National Health and Safety Policy Committee (NHSPC) meeting. USJE National Vice-President Lynette Robinson and Regional Vice-President Nicole Gibson were in attendance, along with a senior executive member of the RCMP.

USJE released a report on DSAs and mental health last year, written by leading public safety researcher Dr. Rose Ricciardelli. The report and its recommendations are now a standing item on the NHSPC agenda, and the committee receives regular progress reports from the RCMP on the recommendations.

Some of the report’s more urgent recommendations have begun to be addressed, and the following initiatives are already underway:

  • Development of a national risk-based strategy and process for identifying and implementing protective measures in DSA workspaces;
  • Guidance to Commanding Officers (COs) to further include DSAs in critical incident tracking;
  • Consultations with DSAs across the country to develop a comprehensive national training program to be piloted in the fall and launched in early 2023; and
  • Identifying mental health supports that meet the needs of DSAs and communicate these resources to them.

There is much more work to be done to ensure that DSAs feel safe and supported on the job when responding to emergencies, supporting investigations and overseeing offenders, and USJE will continue to dialogue with stakeholders as we work towards implementing ALL of the recommendations in Dr. Ricciardelli’s report.

Download Dr. Ricciardelli’s report: The Mental Health and Well-being of Detachment Services Assistants in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police: A Qualitative Investigation