Katzie First Nation and the City of Maple Ridge Support the City of Pitt Meadows
Aspirations to Create an Independent RCMP Detachment
PITT MEADOWS, BC – Since June, 2019, the cities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have been working collaboratively with the local and district RCMP with respect to community safety and policing services. For the City of Pitt Meadows, this work led to the contracting of Tonia Enger, an independent consultant to complete an RCMP Services Review for the City, which was subsequently completed in January 2020.
The goals of both cities have been to examine current service levels and models with the view of enhancing public health and safety in both communities while addressing the escalating demands on police officers and support staff. In addition, discussions have occurred with the Katzie First Nation (KFN) around policing service levels and their desires.
The KFN and both cities continue to recognize the day-to-day efforts along with the challenging and complex environment for Officer-in-Charge Superintendent Jennifer Hyland, her officers, support staff and volunteers as they strive to keep us safe. This includes the courage demonstrated by our officers by placing themselves often in harm’s-way. Also acknowledged is the tremendous support and advice provided by Assistant Commissioner Stephen Thatcher (Lower Mainland District Commander) and Assistant Commissioner Eric Stubbs (Criminal Operations Officer for B.C.) along with departments out of E Division including Property Management, Departmental Security and Operations Strategy Branch.
On February 4, 2020, the City of Maple Ridge hosted a closed Council-to-Council meeting with the City of Pitt Meadows and staff during which the service review was discussed. On February 6, the City of Pitt Meadows met with KFN Council-to-Council to discuss the review.
By unanimous support, the City of Maple Ridge Council and Katzie First Nation formally endorsed the aspirations of Pitt Meadows and with support through engagement with our Pitt Meadows community, the City would seek approvals from E Division and the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General for the creation of an independent RCMP Detachment. This would then also include all stakeholders working collaboratively with Pitt Meadows through a transition period which could take one to three years.
Mayor, City of Maple Ridge: “At a recent Council-to-Council meeting with Pitt Meadows we were briefed on the progress of their independent Police Service Review and the intent to move forward with a public consultation process with their citizens as to how police services are delivered in their community,” says Mayor Mike Morden. “We have an excellent relationship with Pitt Meadows and continue to collaborate on many fronts. We recognize and respect the aspirations of our neighbour to shape a public safety model that delivers on their vision for Pitt Meadows. As Pitt Meadows citizens and Council move forward with this work we are committed to supporting the final decisions made and continue to collaborate for the mutual benefit of our citizens as we have for over a century.”
Chief, Katzie First Nation: “With Pitt Meadows, we have service agreements for water, sewer and fire services and our staff work closely with the City of Pitt Meadows staff on issues such as diking, bylaws, cultural preservation, land restoration, and planning,” says Chief Grace George. “Our Nation has land that stretches across many communities including Maple Ridge, however our community living parcels are within Langley, Surrey (Barnston Island), and Pitt Meadows. Our Council believes that a detachment in Pitt Meadows will enhance public safety for our community while advancing our relationship even further. Hay ce∙p q̓ə (Thank you).”
Mayor, City of Pitt Meadows: “Pitt Meadows is proud to say that we continue to enjoy a great relationship with Maple Ridge and the Katzie First Nation,” says Mayor Bill Dingwall. “We remain committed to continuing our collaboration on a variety of important and mutual issues of interest and concern. The support provided by KFN and the City of Maple Ridge with our police services review recommendations is very much appreciated. It recognizes and validates our unique community, our goals and desires, while highlighting the importance of maintaining and enhancing our relationships. It is also important to acknowledge the excellent police services and relationships we have enjoyed with the City of Maple Ridge, the RCMP, support staff and volunteers by being part of an integrated detachment over many, many years.”
The City of Pitt Meadows gratefully acknowledges support from Federal MP Marc Dalton and Provincial MLA, Minister Lisa Beare on their support for enhanced public safety for the City of Maple Ridge, KFN and the City of Pitt Meadows.
On February 18, 2020 the City of Pitt Meadows is hosting an Engagement and Priorities Committee meeting to discuss this important public safety initiative and to solicit feedback. The meeting is being held at 7pm at the Heritage Hall at 12460 Harris Road in Pitt Meadows. An invitation to attend has been mailed to each household along with advertising in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News and through social media.
For more information please contact:
Manager of Communications & Community Engagement
City of Pitt Meadows