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Tom Diaz pledges more support to Kelowna RCMP if elected mayor

Kelowna Mayoral Candidate Tom Diaz, if elected, aims to expand the Police Crisis Management Team (PACT) and place a full-time nurse in the cell block of the Kelowna RCMP detachment. announced that it is It's an effort to address mental health and crime-related concerns, and Dyas said it helps reduce pressure on officers.

"So when I get a call about a mental health situation while they're doing their duty, I get to work with them, who are experts in dealing with mental health ailments." It helps us make those calls,” explains Tom Dyas.

Recent data released by Stats Canada shows that Kelowna has the highest crime rate of any metropolitan area in Canada. Meanwhile, the Kelowna RCMP says he received over 3,100 mental health-related calls in 2021. Dyas suggests that the current system is not effective enough.

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"They had to deal with these files and were admitted to Kelowna General Hospital. We have to be with these individuals who are in the middle of nowhere, and it consumes a ton of time,” Dyas explains.

"Now they can't go out and deal with other situations within this community that our community needs to deal with."

But Kelowna's current mayor, Colin Baslan, isn't too enthusiastic about Diaz's proposal.

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work is being done by this council," said Mayor Baslan.

Mayor Baslan said he and his city council members have a great relationship with the local government and have been very supportive of increasing RCMP resources.

“One of the things we have asked Interior Health to do is increase nursing support by the PACT team. We have been asking for an increase in the PACT team,” Basran told Global.

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The mayor also added that the council advocates health support for the Kelowna RCMP cell block.

"I think you can see this throughout the campaign of Mr. Diaz, who is politically inexperienced, taking the ideas and initiatives of this council and trying to make them his own," Baslan said. I was.

Earlier this year, the government also announced reforms to his BC Police Law. Mental health options now appear when calling 9-1-1. This allows someone with mental health training to answer the call.

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"While this reduces the number of calls the RCMP receives for mental health response, it also frees up time to get on the scene and deal with the real crime." It will also be a community,” he explains Basran.

Mayor Basran told Global News that it will be some time before he officially announces his intentions on whether to run for mayor again.