Ottawa, ON — The following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation, regarding ongoing discussions by governments in Canada about the provision of community police services:
“The National Police Federation supports efforts by various levels of government to consider ways to better deliver police services in Canada. However, we cannot judge the provision of police services only in the tense and brief moments where RCMP Members are forced to respond to difficult situations.
The National Police Federation and our Members believe that properly funding supports for mental health programs and other social services would make a significant difference in alleviating or eliminating thousands of potentially dangerous interactions that take place between police officers and citizens in Canada every day.
RCMP Members will always be there as the last line of support when other social systems fail, but our federal, provincial and municipal governments must do more to ensure that all communities are provided the front-line services that Canadians need to lead happy, healthy lives.
Importantly, properly funding our social support systems including mental health services does not preclude properly funding and resourcing for community police services.
For too long, our Members have been relied on to fill in growing gaps by responding to calls where mental health and other social services failed or simply don’t exist. The chronic underfunding of RCMP detachments across the country leads to Members who are told to “make do” or “do more with less” by assuming these additional responsibilities when they are already overworked, overstressed, under slept and underpaid. This makes the jobs of our Members measurably more difficult, leading to some of the highest levels of depression and anxiety in Canadian police services.
As the certified bargaining agent representing ~20,000 Members of the RCMP across Canada, the NPF believes that properly funded social support services and police services can and should go hand in hand, and we look forward to being invited as an important voice in these discussions..”
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada, the second largest in North America. The NPF will focus on improving public safety in Canada by negotiating the first-ever Collective Agreement for RCMP officers, and on increasing resources, equipment, training and supports for our members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and support for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/.
National Police Federation