Three years after signing onto the 20 year RCMP contract the city of Richmond is taking a serious look at dumping the Mounties for a municipal police force.
Mayor Malcolm Brodie says the city will ask its residents for feedback while they prepare a report to be tabled this fall.
Brodie says the city can get out of the 20 year RCMP contract signed in 2012.
“It has a two year opt out clause. If we made a decision by early 2016 it would be for two years after that. In order to get there we first of all want to go through a public consultation and ask the citizens of our city what kind of a police force do you like?”
He says the RCMP have served the community well but the problem is de the force’s governance model, cost, and dealing with RCMP hierarchy in far away Ottawa.
“What we have chosen to look at is the idea of a local police force and having separate contracts for the integrated teams than we do now.”
Brodie adds the big issue is dealing with the RCMP decision makers in Ottawa.
“Working with an Ottawa based hierarchy makes for some real challenges some times. That brings into question cost as well and we also have the question of governance.”
Even though the last RCMP contract was signed with much fanfare that local governments would have more of say Brodie says it has not worked out that way.
“It is all motivated because of the challenges that we face really with the RCMP and how they load on top of us, very often with little or any notice, changes that maybe work for us or maybe they don’t.”
Brodie says the city was “forced” to sign on to the 20 year RCMP deal in 2012.