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Vancouver vs everyone else on regional policing

February 28th, 2009 · 9 Comments

I didn’t realize how strongly people felt about the question of One Big Police Force until I did some calling among mayors this week. The question of regional policing is not academic for these people, as they argue for and against, as you can read in my Globe story here.

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  • Corey

    Does this mean that regional amalgamation is out? 🙂

  • Steve

    As long as the RCMP are involved in urban policing in Metro, it will be impossible to have full control over our needs. The RCMP is accountable only to Ottawa, even though Victoria has legal reponsibility for policing in BC.

    Regional policing is but one part of the solution. Better laws, less leniency for gun-related crimes, and effective crime prevention programs are equally important.

  • SV

    Not to mention the RCMP seems to an organization the really needs to get its s@&t together these days.

  • Paul

    The debate as currently posed is

    Are citizens better served:

    a. by large centralized body where the selling point is lower administrative costs and quicker coordination;

    b. by smaller regional forces which may cost more but are sensitive to local issues.

    Further questions to consider:

    Vancouver is concerned about crowds in the downtown core during special events . How are the BIA’s supporting policing during these events as they are the direct beneficiaries?

    What does Vancouver bill suburbs for policing support – ERT etc?

  • Wagamuffin

    I suspect that save for West Van and Vancouver, which have unionized muni forces, the other regional ‘partners’ are happy to have lower cost non-unionized RCMP patrolling their streets.

    Good for mayors like Diane Watts who can then re-direct some of her property tax funds to others (like the rich settlement she bestowed on the area’s firefighters, many of whom live and vote in the jurisdiction and who now make 2% more than Vancouver cops. Stay tuned for that next contract negotiation, people).

    Crappy for coordinating the kind of policing needed to keep on top of the gang problem.

    But, hey, watts a couple more innocents gunned down across Metro?…

  • Gorewell

    Actually Wagamuffin, the five areas with independent police forces are Delta, New Westminster, Port Moody, Vancouver, and West

  • Wagamuffin

    Thank you, Gorewell, I stand corrected…

  • urb anwriter

    Ya, ya, ‘a couple more innocents gunned down’ is a situation that is, to put it bluntly, not going to change whether the separate forces remain, or if there is some type of amalgamation.

    Does anyone remember the City attempting to shut down Pigeon Park, in 1971? The VPD protested loudly – because between Pigeon Park and the 1100 (?, I can never remember whether it was 900 or 1100) block of Granville, you knew definitively where the junk dealers were.

    Amalgamation with Burnaby would not have changed that.

    Does anyone remember guys being pulled out of the ditches in the South Burnaby flats, just east of the new development along Marine Way? Shot with crossbows they were, as memory serves.

    Amalgamation with West Vanvouver would not have kept the ditches clear.

    The guys, and they’re almost always guys, running around with guns are not deterred by police forces – unified or not.

    Just ask the guys sitting inside the original CLEU building. The one that got shot up.

    As long as there is money, and a certain odd prestige, in dealing drugs you can bet there will be gunshots.

    For those of you who think police do excellent investigations – well, I can assure you that my pardon was approved while I was actively engaged in behaviours that my parents would most definitely not have approved of – nor would the police if only they could have figured out what I was doing.

    The second-to-last point, because my bedtime is fast approaching: is that police (at least in ‘democracies’) are reactive, not pro-active. And all the cops running around with tasers, batons, 30-odd rounds of ammunition, sap-gloves, and anti-stapler vests won’t change that.

    Ah, that’s enough for tonight.

  • Colleen

    What a regional force would do is tenfold and without it you will never get on top of the gang problem and the corruption in the force as it will not only take cooperation but communication and a unified force? And I’m not seeing it as a deterrent but rather the necessary resources to help elevate these horrendous crimes. And not just after the fact how about a little prevention as it goes along ways to. Thats not going to happen now is it especially with the RCMP? So who do you think will be the guy heading up a Regional Force, Jamie Graham because I can see him at the job?