The chief of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police is defending his force, after West Vancouver’s Mayor questioned whether it’s worth the bill.
Chief Doug LePard says officers have much more authority compared to transit security.
“Let’s say they see something occur, they take hold of the person, well then what? Because they have no powers to investigate … to conduct an investigation. That sort of thing. That’s what they had before and more. They had special provincial constables, so they had more authority than a security guard. It wasn’t sufficient, they couldn’t deal with all the problems.”
LISTEN: Metro Vancouver Transit Police Chief Doug LePard joins Steele & Drex
Transit officers arrest between 1,100 and 1,200 people a year, around half of them on warrants.
There are 120 Transit Police officers on the frontlines.
LePard says for the size of Metro Vancouver’s public transit system, it is relatively free from harm.
“I want to make clear, this is a very safe system. The number of incidents that I’m talking about, there are enough to keep us busy, but considering a million trips a day, it is an extremely safe system.”
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Transit Police has a budget of $31-million dollars and it might be time to take a second look at that.
Earlier this week, West Vancouver Mayor Michael Smith questioned having transit police and the cost it has on municipalities.