by John Arent
Summerland’s newly opened RCMP station has three prison cells, but they have not been occupied since the detachment opened in July.
Cpl. Bruce Haley of the Summerland RCMP detachment said Summerland has not housed prisoners in its cells since 2005.
Earlier, when the police were still operating out of the building on Jubilee Road West, the cells were condemned and could no longer be used for prisoners.
While the new cells are good, Haley said the cost of staffing must be considered.
“The cost of housing prisoners in Penticton is cheaper than hiring guards,” he said.
If prisoners are arrested during the day, they are held for a court appearance.
These arrested at night, often for alcohol-related offences, are taken to cells until they sober up.
For Summerland to house prisoners, at least half a dozen guards would be needed, he said.