Sunday April 20, 2014


question of the week

Survey results are meant for general information only, and are not based on recognised statistical methods.





Mental health calls continue to tax RCMP

Policing committee
Comments

Despite improved coordination between RCMP and health officials, Mental Health Act calls remain a constant drain on police resources on the Sunshine Coast.

“These calls continue to place major demands on our detachment,” Staff Sgt. Herb Berdahl told the Sunshine Coast policing committee on Jan. 6.

In his report for the last quarter of 2013, Berdahl said the detachment has responded to repeated calls involving the same clients.

“They are taken to St. Mary’s Hospital, released, only to be within a short time re-arrested and released again,” Berdahl said in his report to the committee.

The trend was evident in the December crime statistics under the category of provincial statutes, where the number of calls from St. Mary’s Hospital and the Town of Gibsons went up sharply from the previous year.

In the case of Gibsons, he said, eight of the 15 calls received last month were from the Sumac Place tertiary rehabilitation facility that opened last year on Kiwanis Way, and all involved the same individual, who failed to return after spending the day away from the facility.

“If the person doesn’t come back in the evening, they call police,” Berdahl said.

Saying she was “very concerned” that mental health calls were continuing to tax RCMP resources, Roberts Creek director Donna Shugar asked Berdahl what steps could be taken to “mitigate the issue.”

“I wish I knew,” Berdahl said.

The detachment has worked diligently with health providers on the Coast and the relationship continues to improve, he said, “but it doesn’t curtail the number of calls we get.” The mental health unit at St. Mary’s is small, he added, “and their resources are taxed to the maximum as well.”

The committee agreed to board chair Garry Nohr’s suggestion that a “higher level meeting” be arranged between RCMP and the Sunshine Coast Regional Hospital District board.

Out of that meeting, Nohr said, if a solution that required provincial funding came forward, the next step would be to meet with Ministry of Health officials and make a formal request.

In late 2012, Berdahl reported that the number of Mental Health Act files had jumped by 50 per cent during the first nine months of the year, while the detachment’s overall call volume decreased by two per cent. An internal study found that seven to nine per cent of the detachment’s calls were related to mental health.

In other RCMP business, Berdahl reported that the Coast detachment radio system has switched from analog to digital.

The move is significant, he said, because the digital system provides a clearer long-range signal between Coast RCMP members and the E-Comm dispatch centre in Vancouver.

The change should also put an end to police scanner monitoring by civilians, he said.


Comments

Comments


NOTE: To post a comment in the new commenting system you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, OpenID. You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Coast Reporter welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

blog comments powered by Disqus



About Us | Advertising | Contact Us | Sitemap / RSS   Glacier Community Media: www.glaciermedia.ca    © Copyright 2014 Glacier Community Media | User Agreement & Privacy Policy
Business in Vancouver Whistler Question Squamish Chief Powell River Peak Real Estate Weekly My Local Flyers

LOG IN



Lost your password?