Newfoundland and Labrador
The Labrador Relief Team consists of six Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers and was implemented in response to significant pressure from the community to enhance service delivery to local residents, as well as to comply with provisions of the Canada Labour Code, which outlines safety standards for employees. The primary purpose of this team is to provide support to RCMP detachments in remote areas of Labrador. Four of these positions are primarily dedicated to the communities of Rigolet, Makkovik, Mary’s Harbour and Forteau, which have only two police officers stationed at each location. The remaining two positions are dedicated to the community of Postville. A secondary responsibility of this team is to provide additional support when there are absences in detachments for reasons such as transfers, annual leave, medical leave, leave for training courses, for operational reasons (e.g., prisoner escorts and attendance in court). Relief Teams were first implemented in ‘G’ Division (Eastern Arctic) and have since been adopted as a best practice for policing in northern and remote areas.
This initiative has the following objectives:
The relief team in Labrador has been in place since 2009.
This initiative was undertaken as a result of a recognized need for enhanced service delivery to communities in the Labrador region. There was also recognition of the heavy caseload of officers working in this region and the impact on their health and well-being.
The set-up costs associated with this initiative were salaries for six additional police officers. Specifically, the total cost for salaries was $1,027,605. Given the cost-sharing agreement between the provincial and federal governments, this resulted in a cost of $718,886 (70%) for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and $308,719 (30%) for the Government of Canada. The community of Postville required additional funding for initial set-up and operating costs in the amount of $209,678, which was also cost shared between the provincial and federal governments.
This initiative was based on the success achieved in ‘G’ Division and went through the standard hiring process for RCMP officers.
While this initiative has not been evaluated, it was implemented based on the model in ‘G’ Division which demonstrated success. Additionally, a management review was completed in 2012 which showed significant improvements in the district since the previous review in 2008. Improvements included an increase in client satisfaction, improvements in investigation quality and a healthier work environment.
This was the most efficient way of meeting the identified needs of communities. These officers act as mobile resources to meet the needs of multiple communities and support policing in the entire region. This relief process is a new model of policing within the region of Labrador. It requires officers to be assigned to a region rather than to one specific detachment.