By Lyonel Doherty
The petition calling for two additional RCMP officers for Oliver was presented in parliament Wednesday.
Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson said she presented the petition as per legislative protocol. But she noted the government does not officially respond to petitions when presented.
“Minister Farnworth (Public Safety) has had several meetings with Mayor Ron Hovanes and is well aware of the issue.”
The petition was spearheaded by Michael Guthrie and Shirley Zelinski, who organized the recent crime forum in Oliver. More than 400 people signed the petition.
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Guthrie said it doesn’t matter how many people sign (or don’t sign) petitions because the real question is, “Is anyone listening?”
Guthrie said he doesn’t suspect anything will happen with the petition until newly-elected mayor Martin Johansen makes a few phone calls.
According to outgoing Mayor Ron Hovanes, the business case for two additional officers was approved, but like many other communities, Oliver is still on the waitlist.
The Town of Oliver initially made the call for two extra officers soon after the Okanagan Correctional Centre was operational. Oliver RCMP attend the prison to investigate assaults and to gather DNA when requested.
The Town maintains that it requires two more officers to offset this loss of resources to the prison.