Being the largest part of the municipal budget, policing is under the microscope again.
With 34 officers, each taxpayer pays a minimum of $430 a year into the local RCMP’s $7 million budget, which represents 20% of the city’s total budget
Meanwhile, violent crimes and property crimes are amongst the highest in the country.
Port Alberni RCMP Inspector Brian Hunter says police are working hard to cut down on crime, and they understand peoples frustrations.
Hunter says the local detachment is actually under-resourced given the factors behind the crime rate that are outside of police control, like poverty and incredibly high alcohol consumption rates.
He says while he understands frustrations with the court system, police are still working hard to bring criminals to justice.
Hunter said officers recently arrested a few chronic thieves and the number of property crimes immediately went down dramatically.
He expects those numbers to return once the individuals are released back into the community again.