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B.C. police watchdog gets $2M funding boost to hire staff, cut investigation times

IIO BC
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After flagging a staff shortage and lengthy investigation times earlier this year, B.C.’s police watchdog says it’s catching up.

In recent months, the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has hired 12 new investigators. Less than half of them are former police officers, said IIO chief civilian director Ron MacDonald.

“We’ve been able to solidify both the retention and recruitment of investigators here with increases in salaries to make us more competitive,” MacDonald told CTV News.

The province gave the IIO a $2 million budget lift for this fiscal year to fund 13 new positions, including seven in investigations.

The agency also received $500,000 to increase the average annual salary for investigators from roughly $90,000 to $110,000, MacDonald said.

“That is helping us meet the caseload,” he said, noting it has grown significantly in the past few years.

Investigation timelines have shrunk by about 40 per cent, shaving months off of investigations, which can take years.

"It has helped with the morale of the team,” MacDonald said.

“This year we've only had two resignations out of our investigative staff, which is the lowest number I think ever for this type of timeframe. So we're very encouraged by our current situation."

The IIO is working on filling five more positions.

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