Port Alberni RCMP needs new closed circuit video system

Detachment is leaving itself vulnerable in possible civil proceedings due to aging video equipment, Inspector says.

Port Alberni RCMP needs a new closed circuit video equipment as the current one only stores data for a month, putting the local detachment in a precarious legal position.

CCVE is used at the detachment to record the movements of arrested people and can be used in civil proceedings. The current equipment was purchased in 2006 and is past its lifespan of four to six years, RCMP Insp. Mac Richards said.

The system used to have a one-year storage capacity but the equipment has badly deteriorated and only has a 30-day storage capacity now.

New CCVE equipment is estimated to cost $173,000.

Richards told city council on Monday that it can take months for a person to lodge a complaint on the RCMP, which makes it important to have the new equipment in place immediately.

“We can’t defend ourselves in a civil litigation,” Richards told council. “We are losing images, which impacts our investigations.”

The provincial government has also mandated that the RCMP have CCVE equipment, with a storage capacity of at least two years, installed by January 2015.

Council voted to issue a request for proposals to replace the CCVE equipment, taking the money out of the RCMP’s operating surplus reserve which currently sits at $480,000. However, Coun. Cindy Solda expressed concern with that.

“The reason why that $480,000 is there is to pay for [potentially expensive] murder investigations,” Solda said. “I would like to see that money replaced and put back into that fund.”

Solda cited a $1 million dollar bill the town of Campbell River was stuck with after a major murder investigation there.

Solda was reassured that the money will replaced from funds in next year’s RCMP budget.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com