Maple Ridge is calling for a provincial police force at UBCM this year. (THE NEWS/files)

This Lower Mainland city wants a B.C. police force

Resolution off to UBCM convention in September

Maple Ridge is asking for a provincial police force and money to pay for it.

Council approved a resolution on June 18, calling for a B.C. force that will be “paid for through provincial general revenue.”

The resolution will go to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention this September.

The resolution says that local property taxes are paying RCMP costs and that policing needs to be regionalized.

Maple Ridge signed a 20-year contract with the RCMP in 2012, to be reviewed every five years. It gives cities input into setting policing priorities, along with reports from commanding officers about how they’re being carried out. Cities also have input on who should be the commanding officer for their detachments.

RELATED: Maple Ridge council inks new deal with RCMP.

“It’s time to look at how to make sure that our policing models are effective in their delivery and that they’re financially accountable to the right places,” Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden said Thursday.

There are other models of municipal, provincial and federal polices forces, “staying in their lanes properly, and we don’t have that, necessarily, in British Columbia. So it’s time to do that review, to call for it and say let’s look at it,” he added.

The cities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows launched a review of RCMP services last week,

READ ALSO: Complainants want improved police response, says Maple Ridge mayor.

Coun. Gordy Robson introduced the idea of provincial police, saying that such a force could tackle major issues, leaving municipal forces to handle other crimes.

A provincially funded force could then help cities with policing costs, which are now being borne by residential taxpayers.

“It would be uploading instead of downloading,” Robson said.

He added that forming a Metro Vancouver force would still have to be paid for out of local taxes.

A provincial force, such as the Ontario Provincial Police, wouldn’t replace municipal police or local RCMP, but would, “give us that second layer of policing between municipal and RCMP …” added Coun. Ahmed Yousef.

Having a B.C. police force could also help RCMP with workload and be able to respond to major B.C. issues such as money laundering or the opioid crisis, he added.

Money laundering, “is a prime example of an issue that we have to deal with here, in B.C., much more so than on a national level,” Yousef said.

He expects some support from other cities for the resolution at the UBCM annual gathering in Vancouver.

Other cities could also put forward similar resolutions, which then could be merged with Maple Ridge’s, he added.

Morden said the timing could be right with Surrey now moving toward a municipal force.

“It puts a fairly major dent, potentially into E Division [RCMP], and maybe there’s a trigger point there to take a look and see how our resources are being used and where they are and what they’re doing and who’s paying for them.”

READ MORE: “Surrey officers will be patrolling streets by July 2020.”

Yousef said the resolution is not connnected to the police review that Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows recently launched of the RCMP.

He said the police review “is simply to give everybody an idea of where things are so that, moving forward, we can really map out a better way … if we need more resources or are taxing the resources that we already have.”

He added that forming a Metro Vancouver regional police force could be considered later, once it was known how a provincial one would work.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Swimmers, advocates plead to Victoria council for new Crystal Pool facility

Many swimmers dependant on the pool are afraid to be without any athletic resources

Victoria police seek to pilot blue-lighted vehicles for increased visibility

Police have already purchased the lights and are awaiting provincial approval

Saanich swaps last propane-powered Zamboni for electric model

Pearkes arena’s all-electric ice resurfacing fleet to reduce carbon emissions by six tonnes

VIDEO: Traffic snarled during Friday evening rush hour, now clear

Traffic was backed up all over Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Dashcam records driver’s near-miss near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

Most Read