>Mental health issues will be one of the focuses for the RCMP in the coming year. That, along with the newly-formed Downtown Protection Unit and pedestrian safety. A new Car 60 program got started just last week, tying RCMP officers with mental health workers. The number of calls has risen from 620 in 2008 to 1,037 last year.
RCMP Superintendent Warrant Brown says there are similar programs in other BC communities, but suspects there are different dynamics in Prince George.
“I’d say we’re probably a little closer to Kamloops because of our size. Surrey’s a much larger hub and Vancouver has a program as well. Albeit, while the ideology to the program is pretty similar, here, there’s just different dynamics,” says Spt Brown.
Councillor Brian Skakun accused the provincial government of “dropping the ball” when it came to helping with the ever-increasing issue of mental health in a community.