RNC child exploitation unit receives boost

Barb Sweet
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Chief says investigator to be hired, new equipment to be purchased

Budget 2012 added nearly $400,000 to the Internet child exploitation unit at the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) Tuesday.

The increased spending will add an investigator to the unit, but also buy sophisticated equipment, RNC Chief Bob Johnston said.

He said the RNC has seen its budget increase in the past number of years and has been fortunate, especially since an addition to its St. John’s headquarters is under construction.                                                                               

“Over the last seven or eight years, we’ve added 85 new police officers to the RNC and 29 civilian employees. What that allowed us to do is build our investigative capacity,” Johnston said.

“Our partnership with (Memorial University) continues to grow. Our brand has never been stronger in terms of how we are being perceived by the public. We are now attracting some of the best and brightest Newfoundlanders and Labradorians into policing. That tells us we are a healthy organization.”

Johnston also said the RNC has been successful in dismantling organized crime groups. 

“Unfortunately with economic growth, not only do we see legitimate businesses being developed, there are also illegal businesses being developed as well,” Johnston said.

“With the capacity that we have built up over the last number of years, the support that we received this year allows us to be an intelligent organization to serve and try and dismantle those groups who are coming here to make a profit at the expense of young people.”

Other justice-related spending includes the continuation of the specialized family violence court at a cost of roughly $525,000.


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