December 22, 2006
Committed to Safe and Secure Communities
Government remains committed to ensuring
safe and secure communities and will build upon the unprecedented
investments made in policing over the past three years.
�Upon taking office in 2003, the Williams government inherited two
resource depleted police forces, suffering from low morale as a result
of a decade or more of cutbacks. In fact, during a period between 1995
and 1997 alone the government of the day eliminated approximately 80
officer positions,� said the Honourable Tom Marshall Minister of Justice
and Attorney General. �In three years the Williams government has hired
approximately 114 police officers, not including the 30 recruits
currently in training that will be hired upon graduation.
�In Budget 2006-07 alone, government made an unparalleled investment of
an additional $10.1 million to accommodate this increase in police
presence and ensure our officers have the right tools to perform their
duties. We have increased the number of officers on our streets and
highways and have ensured they are using new equipment such as vehicles,
uniforms, side-arms, batons, and are receiving advanced training
The minister called the RNC Recruit Training Program with Memorial
University a success story. This program was announced as part of Budget
2004 to train a minimum of 75 police officers over a three-year period.
�We wanted to ensure additional highly trained RNC officers are
available to patrol our streets and protect our families and
communities. We have in fact surpassed the projected recruitment level
by hiring all 28 graduates in the inaugural year; and 26 recruits who
graduated in August 2006. Year three of the training program is
currently underway with another 30 recruits,� said Minister Marshall.
�This program has been described as �excellent� by Commissioner Antonio
Lamer in his inquiry report and is a concrete illustration of this
government�s commitment to protecting homes and communities throughout
Minister Marshall noted that government has also addressed RNC
management challenges by re-organizing the management structure of the
RNC. We have appointed a new chief and two new deputy chiefs from within
the ranks, to lead this positive change in direction; appointing new
superintendents and inspectors; creating new senior executive management
positions as well as additional civilian clerical personnel to fill a
number of administrative voids allowing uniformed officers to
concentrate on core policing.
Government has made major investments in the RCMP who serve and protect
our rural regions added Minister Marshall. �Along with the 36 RCMP
officers, we have invested in much needed resources including
improvements in the RCMP radio telecommunications system and funding to
satisfy operational pressures. We also established an office at RCMP
Headquarters at White Hills to operate the National Sex Offender
Registry within the province.�
Minister Marshall said government is currently working with both the RNC
and RCMP to combat the spread of illegal drugs, with a special focus on
the distribution and use of crystal methamphetamine. �We are creating
more enforcement tools for officers to use, and have already invested in
drug awareness officers, drug sniffing K-9 units and have added 13 new
positions to the Organized Crime Unit,� said Minister Marshall.
�The Williams government will continue to take the necessary steps to
ensure the people of this province feel safe and secure in their homes
and communities,� concluded Minister Marshall.
Director of Communications
Department of Justice
2006 12 22