Rural Nova Scotia community seeking policing proposals, could dump the RCMP

By The Canadian Press

UPPER NAPPAN, N.S. – A largely rural municipality in northern Nova Scotia is looking into replacing the RCMP as its local police force almost three years after a mass shooting claimed the lives of four residents.

But the mayor of the Municipality of Cumberland says the horrific events in April 2020, which resulted in 18 additional deaths in other Nova Scotia communities, had nothing to do with his municipality’s decision earlier this week to issue a request for proposals for policing services.

Mayor Murray Scott says that prior to his election as mayor in October 2020, the municipality was preparing to reduce the number of local RCMP officers by three — a proposal later rejected by Scott and his council.

Instead, the new council started a review of the RCMP’s work, and a committee later concluded residents were not satisfied with the Mounties’ slow response times and lack of visibility in the community.

As well, Scott confirmed the Cumberland detachment was often short-staffed and required more money from the municipality to cover rising costs.

Scott says the deadline for proposals in May 19, by which time he expects to receive bids from the RCMP and the municipal police force in Amherst, N.S., the incorporated town closest to Cumberland.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April, 13, 2022.

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