Courtenay council has given approval in principle to an option to maintain the RCMP’s established strength at 30.4 members for the 2015/16 contract year. The budget expenditure cap would be a little under $5.5 million.
For Courtenay and other towns with populations exceeding 15,000, municipalities fund 90 per cent of a policing budget while the federal government kicks in 10 per cent of costs. The municipal/federal split is 70/30 for populations between 5,000 and 15,000 people.
Approval in principle of a following year contract is required each year by June 15 to secure the 10 per cent federal share.
The other option is to increase the local police force by one member, which would bump the cap past $5.6 million for 2015/16.
Council can revisit the issue before final approval by next May.
The Comox Valley RCMP detachment is a combined provincial/municipal detachment. Of 61 members, 19 are funded by the province, 30.4 by Courtenay and 11.6 by Comox.
The City of Courtenay funds two officers from gaming funds, two from traffic fine revenue and 26.4 members from property taxes.