Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz

Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz

VIDEO: Chilliwack announces intent to hire 10 new RCMP officers

Eight new police will be uniformed, front line officers for Chilliwack, while two more will join the property crime and drug units

City of Chilliwack and RCMP announced a coordinated plan Monday to tackle rising crime in Chilliwack with 10 new officers and a crime mapping tool.

Eight of the 10 new RCMP members will be “front-line” uniformed officers, said Supt. Deanne Burleigh, who made the announcement alongside Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

The mayor called the 10 new RCMP “unprecedented” for Chilliwack, and they want to see the new officers in place by 2017.

“This hopefully will demonstrate just how serious the City of Chilliwack is in the way we tackle crime here,” said Mayor Gaetz.

Spiking crime rates recorded recently were cited as factors for taking action, including: Increases, year over year, from March of 2015 to March of 2016, in theft from vehicles (+57%), auto theft (+38%),  property crime (+33%), and weapons offences (+114%).

The new officers will cost $1.7 million, with the city paying 90 per cent. It was a “unanimous” vote of council to add significantly to RCMP resources in Chilliwack, the mayor added.

Supt. Burleigh said she was “extremely pleased” with the plan to bolster RCMP strength with 10 new officers for the district detachment.

The new officers will “further enhance our ability to ensure the safety and well being of the residents of Chilliwack,” she said.

Eight new members will be assigned to uniformed general duty service, which are the front line officers, while two more will be working with the property crime and drug units.

“The rise in property, auto and weapons crime around the community has challenged our police resources over the past two years and understandably has caused anxiety within the community,” said Burleigh.

The crime mapping tool is part of a “Crime Prevention Toolkit” found at the city website

The maps have overlays with incident of auto theft, theft from vehicles, bicycle theft, as well as break and enters.