Bye-bye RCMP? Richmond to gather public opinion on moving to municipal police force

Dec 19 2017, 8:13 pm

The City of Richmond is hosting the first of a series of open houses tonight to gather public opinion on whether or not to give the RCMP the boot.

Richmond mayor Malcolm Brodie said the City was “forced” to sign a renewal contract with the RCMP and felt certain aspects of it were unfair and incomplete.

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“We’ve been looking at the police model since that time,” Brodie told Vancity Buzz.

One of the main issues, according to Brodie, is that the RCMP is governed by a police board in Ottawa, and he questions whether Richmond would be better off being governed locally with a municipal police board.

“The issues with the RCMP relate to issues of accounting and transparency and local control and finances – those kinds of issues, as opposed to policing on the street,” he said.

There are many factors to consider when switching from the RCMP to a municipal police force, including cost. Brodie said there will be impacts to the operating budget, and a large impact in terms of straight transitional costs, including a one-time cost of nearly $20 million.

“You can’t look at this issue without considering the question of cost.”

Brodie said they get on-going feedback about the Richmond RCMP from the public, especially in the past month since public consultation started. The five open houses are as follows:

  • Wednesday, February 17; 5 to 8 p.m. at South Arm Community Centre
  • Thursday, February 18; 5 to 8 p.m. at East Richmond Community Hall
  • Saturday, February 20; 5 to 8 p.m. at Thompson Community Centre
  • Tuesday, February 23; 5 to 8 p.m. at Steveston Community Centre
  • Wednesday, February 24; 5 to 8 p.m. at Richmond City Hall
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