Is the Metro Vancouver Transit Police force really needed? That’s the question West Vancouver’s mayor is asking.
Michael Smith says West Vancouver taxpayers fork out the highest percentage of the TransLink residential tax levy and he wants to make sure they’re getting best-value.
“Having a separate police force is obviously costly, are there alternatives? That’s all I’m saying. If there aren’t that’s fine but at least let’s look to make sure we’ve examined them.”
Jordan Bateman with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says other politicians should be asking the same questions.
“Maybe an integrated unit would be a cheaper way to go for transit policing.”
He says it’s time for a complete review of the model.
But Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore says transit police are a necessity.
“The transit police are working with our police in our local jurisdictions to compliment what’s going on.”
He says Transit Police are out on buses and SkyTrain all the time, ensuring people are safe.
Transit Police had a budget last year of just about $31-million and a force of 167 sworn officers and 69 civilians.