A friend investigated several homicides in Nazko, British Columbia during his career.
Many RCMP detachments are remote, some require Members to fly in for two weeks on and two off. Some, such at 100 Mile House, British Columbia covers over 72,000 square Km and with vacations, sick leave and related staffing issues, they often operate at far less than 100% staffing.
I trained with Alaska State Troopers on Chichagof Island, Alaska with the Mossberg .12 gauge and Glock 22 semi-automatic handgun. The only relief was by air, the dependency of which was iffy even in good weather.
The White Alice Communication System, (WACS) & Distance Early Warning Line (DEW) were on the top of the mountain. Their assistance was in the form of communications only as none were peace officers.
Photos courtesy of Unsplash
The following article is from the September 2022 issue of Officer magazine and offers a unique perspective of remote policing.
"The Haines Borough Police Department is located the northern part of the Alaska Panhandle and sits near the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. “We are truly a very remote community,” says Police Chief Heath Scott, who serves on the Board of Governors of the Small & Rural Law Enforcement Executives Association. “We have peaks up to about 5,000 feet and we are all the way down at sea level.”
The community is about 2,500 people, but it sees an increase in visitor traffic in the summer, almost doubling or tripling the town’s size. The department is made up of five officers, including the chief, and five dispatchers. The agency is built to handle a service area of about 13 square miles but covers an area of about 2,200 square miles."
Branch County, Michigan, is a rural community comprised of farmland, small wooded lots and a long lake chain. Sheriff John Pollack oversees an agency of about 50 employees, but with only 10 deputies on the patrol side. The department went through deep budget cuts in 2013 that reduced the number of patrol deputies from 23. “We’re really a reactive patrol now as opposed to what we used to be which was a proactive patrol,” he says
Connectivity, whether it be by radio or cell phone, poses big problems for rural law enforcement agencies. “It is a struggle. We have a long-term project to implement to add repeaters to our environment to make it more accessible,” says Scott. “We have many dark areas where we cannot transmit in. Once we pass about 10 miles out of town we switch over to a repeater station that’s housed at 26 miles, which serves us pretty well in that area, but the topography causes us to have secondary and tertiary options.”