PITT MEADOWS, BC – Following recommendations from the Police Services Review and community feedback received, Council has voted unanimously to take the next step forward in creating an independent RCMP detachment to improve service and safety.
“A City’s number one job is ensuring the safety of the community while getting the best possible service and value for our dollars,” says Mayor Bill Dingwall. “The evidence is clear that the best way to achieve this is through the creation our own independent RCMP detachment. The community feedback that we received demonstrates that our residents support this decision.”
“Our Council’s vision of a visible and active police service will mean that police are integrated into and involved in our community” says Mayor Bill Dingwall. “Our goal is to enhance police visibility, public safety, service levels and responsiveness within the same operating budget.”
On February 18, 2020, residents were invited to attend an Engagement and Priorities Committee meeting at the Heritage Hall to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback about the Police Services Review. Those who were unable to attend were invited to provide feedback online at haveyoursaypittmeadows.ca from February 19 to March 1.
62 percent of respondents from the feedback submitted indicated their support for an independent RCMP detachment. 18 percent of comments were undetermined and 20 percent did not provide support. The same feedback included concern for potential increases in property taxes as well as the cost and availability of resources.
“The existing operating budget is $5.4 million and it’s anticipated that the independent police detachment can be accommodated within the City’s annual operating budget without a property tax increase” says Chief Administrative Officer Mark Roberts. “There will be transitional costs for the delivery of a new policing model that would require a one-time capital investment for facility space to accommodate an independent detachment, support staff, parking and equipment.”
If approvals are granted by the RCMP and the Province, then the City will embark on a transition plan with the City of Maple Ridge and the RCMP which could take upwards of three years. In addition, over the following few months, a business case will be developed regarding the Council decision to renovate the current Community Policing Office or to accommodate the police members and staff or to build a new detachment. Each option will be fully explored and costed out with the support of RCMP E Division Corporate Management. Thus far, $1.5 million has been set aside from reserves as initial monies for transitional costs and potentially towards accommodations.
The City of Maple Ridge, the Katzie First Nation Council have formally endorsed the City’s aspirations to create an independent RCMP detachment. As well, Federal MP Marc Dalton and Provincial MLA Lisa Beare have also provided formal letters indicating their support.
With both Pitt Meadows Council and the community’s support, the City will next seek formal approvals from the Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan, Commanding Officer E Division, and the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth to proceed with the creation of an independent detachment and to create and implement a transition plan.
More information and updates will be provided as they become available. Please stay tuned to the City’s website and social media channels. For more information, visit pittmeadows.ca/policeservicesreview.
For more information please contact:
Manager of Communications & Community Engagement
City of Pitt Meadows