RCMP, RNC dis­band CFSEU

Po­lice an­nounce changes to how they will com­bat se­ri­ous crime; ICE re­mains

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - LOCAL - BY SAM MCNEISH sa­muel.mcneish@thetele­gram.com

Call it a shuf­fling of the deck — the Royal New­found­land Con­stab­u­lary (RNC) and Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice (RCMP) have shuf­fled that deck by mov­ing re­sources around, but are still tar­get­ing crime as they al­ways have.

It just comes in a dif­fer­ent form fol­low­ing an an­nounce­ment Thurs­day af­ter­noon, when a col­lec­tive plan to en­sure ef­fec­tively com­bat­ting se­ri­ous crime, drug traf­fick­ing and child ex­ploita­tion was re­vealed at a joint me­dia con­fer­ence at RNC head­quar­ters in St. John’s.

RCMP Chief Supt. Gar­rett Woolsey and RNC Chief Joe Boland pro­vided de­tails about how the po­lice will com­bat these types of crime.

The first change is the re­de­ploy­ment of of­fi­cers who have worked in the Com­bined Forces Spe­cial En­force­ment Unit (CFSEU), for the last five years.

Those of­fi­cers will re­turn to their du­ties with their re­spec­tive po­lice force.

“Es­sen­tially, what this means is that the RNC and RCMP will con­tinue to work closely, but not within the struc­ture of CFSEU, al­low­ing the tar­get­ing of po­lice to best com­bat crime to keep our com­mu­ni­ties and prov­ince safe,” Woolsey said.

“It is im­por­tant that we put the right re­sources in the right places at the right times. I thank

the po­lice of­fi­cers who were in­volved in CFSEU for their hard work and suc­cesses, and look for­ward to their con­tin­ued con­tri­bu­tions.”

Both Boland and Woolsey say that through a more col­lab­o­ra­tive work agree­ment, both forces

will have more flex­i­bil­ity to tar­get spe­cific crimes.

Sev­eral former CFSEU of­fi­cers will form a new drug unit within the RNC to com­bat street-level il­le­gal drugs and as­so­ci­ated crime, while oth­ers will be de­ployed to the RCMP fed­eral polic­ing unit,

adding to the team there to com­bat se­ri­ous and or­ga­nized crime.

“As our com­mu­nity changes and evolves, so does the com­plex­ity and na­ture of crime. It is crit­i­cal that we as po­lice con­stantly eval­u­ate and en­hance our re­sponse to meet the chang­ing needs of our com­mu­ni­ties,” Boland said.

“The new RNC drug unit will tar­get street-level drugs with the ob­jec­tive of dis­rupt­ing the il­le­gal drug trade that con­tin­ues to be a se­ri­ous prob­lem within our com­mu­nity. The RNC re­mains fo­cused on mak­ing New­found­land and Labrador a safer and health­ier place to live, work and raise fam­i­lies.”

An area that will not change is the in­ter­net child ex­ploita­tion (ICE) team.

“ICE will re­main in­tact and will work as an in­te­grated unit, in­clud­ing RNC and RCMP po­lice of­fi­cers, within the RCMP ma­jor crimes pro­gram,” Boland said.

ICE will con­tinue to work prov­ince-wide, and be based out of three cen­tres — St. John’s, Gan­der and Cor­ner Brook.

Other joint po­lice op­er­a­tions will con­tinue to oc­cur as investigations war­rant.

Both Woolsey and Boland said CFSEU did great work with its ded­i­cated of­fi­cers. The change is not re­flec­tive of the work they did, but rather was made to use re­sources bet­ter to fight crime.

“There will be no job losses — no re­duc­tion in the num­ber of po­lice of­fi­cers — as a re­sult of these changes,” Boland said.

“It wasn’t that CFSEU didn’t work. There is a dif­fer­ent need now than when it was formed.”

The change goes into ef­fect Oct. 17.

SAM MCNEISH/THE TELEGRAM

Royal New­found­land Con­stab­u­lary Chief Joe Boland (left) and Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Gar­rett Woolsey ad­dress the me­dia about a col­lec­tive plan to en­sure ef­fec­tive tar­get­ing of re­sources to com­bat se­ri­ous crime, drug traf­fick­ing and child ex­ploita­tion at a me­dia con­fer­ence on Thurs­day at RNC head­quar­ters in St. John’s.

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