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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ya, here's a surprize:,

RCMP understaffed and undertrained, auditor general finds

Last Updated Tue, 22 Nov 2005 16:26:36 EST
CBC News

The RCMP are inadequately trained and so understaffed that they can't meet their federal responsibilities such as tackling organized crime, the federal auditor general says in a report.

Auditor General Sheila Fraser found that the Mounties didn't have enough people to adequately supply forces in 192 communities and aboriginal reserves in eight provinces.

"We noted problems with staffing and training that need to be addressed," she told a news conference after her report was tabled on Tuesday in the House of Commons .

As a result, the RCMP often had to divert staff from the national force, leaving it unable to fulfill its federal responsibilities such as probes into drug and organized crime networks, Fraser said.

Force will be short hundreds of officers a year

Fraser said the RCMP would soon be short hundreds of officers because their training facilities are inadequate and can't produce enough recruits to keep up with the demand.

The centre in Regina can train 1,200 cadets a year, but the force needs at least 1,400 new recruits annually for the next four years, the report says.

She also said the force often doesn't adequately fill in for Mounties who are on long-term absences, overburdening their colleagues and leaving them exposed to dangerous situations without access to backup.

"The peace officers could end up being overloaded in their work schedules, so more attention has to be paid to these areas," Fraser said.

New recruits receive inadequate mentoring, Fraser finds

Fraser also found problems with the training of new officers and retraining of more experienced ones.

Rookie officers are supposed to get six months of on-the-job training with a senior officer. Fraser said that often doesn't happen.

She also found the vast majority of the force hadn't completed recertification requirements.

There are six skill sets in which RCMP officers must recertify, including pistol and baton training, first aid and CPR.

Two years ago, 57 per cent of RCMP officers had completed all six qualifications. A year later, Fraser's audit found the figure had plummeted to 6 per cent.

Fraser pointed out that the Mounties are the primary police force for 20 per cent of Canadians, saying the problem areas identified in her report must be addressed.

Guess I can flush any hope of a federal inquiry down the toilet


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