Funding for police in Flin Flon has changed, but the services are likely to stay the same, according to officials from the City of Flin Flon.
Glenna Daschuk, the city’s chief administrative officer, said the community’s recent switch to a provincial policing plan from a federal one will bring some changes in relations between the city and both the Flin Flon and Creighton RCMP detachments.
The city switched over to a provincial plan effective April 1. Provincial plans are often used to cover communities with 5,000 people or fewer and feature a different funding structure than federal plans. Last month, the city approved a change to per parcel rates for protective services as part of the switch, saving about $300 per parcel in fees for fire and police services.
“This year, we will see a bit of the benefit of switching. We’re going to be doing three months on one program, nine months on the other. Next year, there will be a bigger impact,” Daschuk said.
Despite the switch and reduction in local funding, Daschuk said police service, staffing and priorities would not change.
“The whole system is going to flow seamlessly to the public,” she said. “Phone numbers will not change. The way things are done will not change. You will see the same RCMP doing the same RCMP work that you’ve always seen. Out in the public, there will be no visible change. The only thing that is changing is that we are no longer participating in the federal program. We now participate in the provincial program, which is funded differently and their reporting to us is done differently,” she said.
“Basically, the way we were policed a month ago will be the way we are policed today.”
Provincial plans also come with new reporting requirements. Changes to local RCMP reports to fit the new provincial requirements are slated to come in late June or early July.
“I think that’s a very positive thing. It definitely is a good move,” Daschuk said.
“What we’re doing is we’re working quite closely with both Flin Flon and Creighton RCMP. We’re working with both detachments in order to stay abreast of what’s going on and they’re advising us on where we think we need to be concentrating our efforts in order to increase safety within the community.”
That may include sharing reports with the public and local media outlets. Since Flin Flon RCMP stopped sending weekly reports in The Reminder in 2017, the detachment has not issued publicly available reports. Daschuk said council would be open to sharing reports with interested parties.
“That’s something that’s definitely one of those community practices that we are looking to put in place. It’s all about information. You keep the community informed, then the community can work with you. That’s what we’re dealing with right now,” said Daschuk.
Members of Flin Flon’s city council are meeting regularly with RCMP members.