Cumberland council votes in favour of review after concerns with RCMP raised

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A committee to review policing in Cumberland County will the set up in May. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
A committee to review policing in Cumberland County will the set up in May. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

The municipal council for Nova Scotia's Cumberland County voted in favour of a police service review at a meeting Wednesday night.

Cumberland currently pays $4.8 million for 27 RCMP officers, and councillors are concerned about the amount of vacancies and backfill.

"We question a lot about the number we actually have in place," said Mayor Murray Scott.

The decision to officially launch a review means a committee of four councillors and four citizen representatives will be set up in May.

A report by the chief administrative officer listed the objectives of the review committee. They include the hours of service, and financial issues including the payment for vacancies and the allocation of resources to detachments.

After hearing from the RCMP and the public, Scott said there could be a call for alternate police proposals in October.

He said he believes there are "other opportunities" and hopes to hear from the Amherst Police Department, the municipal force in the county's largest town.

"They provide a tremendous service to the community, and there may be others that respond" to a request for proposals, said Scott.

Scott expects a final decision will be made by January 2023. But any change the municipality requests has to be approved by the minister of justice. A representative from the department will be a non-voting member of the review committee.

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