Prince George RCMP Superintendent Shaun Wright said the Car 60 Program will not be shifting to a 24/7 model.
The joint venture between the detachment and Northern Health allows medical professionals to ride along with police to assist with mental and emotional health calls.
Wright explains why the move could not be made at this time.
“Unfortunately, the RCMP and Northern Health both examined what our capacity limits are and we just simply don’t have the resources at this time to expand the hours of it. We have targeted the shifts of the Car 60 Program around the data we have for when we receive the highest volume of calls.”
Wright added they are still exploring other options with the health authority to expand the service.
The detachment is also in the process of rolling out the Health I Am system by the end of this year, which will enable officers to provide a more clinical assessment on mental health crisis calls.
“So, even if they don’t have a mental health nurse with them, we can really do a much better assessment based on clinical criteria and then transmit that data directly to the emergency room and the health care professionals will have that information by the time we arrive (at the hospital).”
“It really will reduce the number of involuntary apprehensions that our members are forced into and will also speed up the process and should improve the outcomes for those experiencing a mental health crisis.”
From 2015 to 2019, Prince George saw a 120% increase in the number of mental-health-related calls.
Expanding the Car 60 Program has in PG has garnered the support of Prince George-Mackenzie Liberal MLA Mike Morris as well as PG City Councillor Kyle Sampson.