BC’s Office of Independent Investigations is calling for more government funding to encourage candidates to apply for open positions as caseloads peak.
In the first three days of April, the police watchdog said it responded to six incidents, including two shootings of officers, highlighting significant staffing issues.
Chief Civilian Director Ronald MacDonald said in the past two years his caseload had “essentially doubled” and there were about 70 active cases.
He says the office has 24 frontline investigators, and although the government agreed 30 workers were needed in 2018, it was never fully staffed.
MacDonald says he is trying to fill the positions, but the current salary structure reduces his ability to fill roles.
The civilian-run police oversight agency falls under the Ministry of the Attorney General, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
MacDonald says he hasn’t been able to attract quality candidates because the office can’t offer competitive salaries or pay overtime, and he requires employees to be on call every three weeks.
“We are bound by the provisions of the Civil Service Act relating to salary scale, salary structure and this limits our base salaries and means we cannot pay overtime,” MacDonald said during the interview. a meeting.
Even if the bureau could pay more, MacDonald says he doesn’t have the budget to do so.
“It’s unfair to the people who work here and it’s unfair to the people of British Columbia because it means our investigations are taking longer than they otherwise would.”
The Canadian Press