Ucluelet’s RCMP detachment will be without a commander this summer.
Sgt. George Jenkins took the detachment’s helm in early February but has not returned since being attacked by a local youth on Feb. 22.
Jenkins had arrested the youth for being intoxicated in public and was booking the youth into the detachment’s cells when the attack occurred.
Jenkins was taken to Tofino General Hospital immediately after the incident to receive treatment, including stitches.
Ucluelet’s municipal council recently met with BC RCMP officials and learned Jenkins will not return to Ucluelet and a new commander will not arrive before the end of summer.
“We were told that the previous sergeant will definitely not be returning to Ucluelet,” said mayor Dianne St. Jacques during a May 24 regular council meeting.
“They’re going to do a promotional move through the RCMP to replace our commanding officer here…It will be probably four to six months before we get a new commanding officer, which is a bit disappointing.”
She said the Ucluelet detachment is currently short one member and RCMP officers will be brought in from other detachments to provide temporary assistance during busy periods, like long weekends and special events.
She added Tofino is set to assist, though she wondered what this would look like.
“Tofino will be overseeing our RCMP folks, so we have a lot of questions and concerns around what that might look like as far as support for our RCMP,” she said.
She noted Tofino’s current RCMP detachment will soon be demolished to make room for a new one and, while this work is going on, Tofino will be using Ucluelet’s detachment to house prisoners.
“Once the new Tofino detachment starts its build, of course they won’t have anywhere to put their prisoners so they will be brought down here to Ucluelet,” she said adding the new detachment’s construction would likely continue well into 2017. “We have lots of questions around that.”
Council agreed to send letters to the BC RCMP clarifying how busy Ucluelet gets in the summertime and requesting a role in the selection process for a new detachment commander.
“Also, to let them know about our dissatisfaction with what’s happening for the summer,” St. Jacques said.
While Ucluelet waits for its new top cop, Tofino RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Blaine Mumford is prepared to take the detachment’s reins temporarily. Read more in the June 8 print edition of the Westerly News.