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Vancouver's police board has quickly approved recommendations stemming from B.C.’s Missing Women Inquiry, but any hope of a regional police force becoming a reality still rests with the provincial government.
Several mayors, including Vancouver's Gregor Robertson, have urged the Clark government to set up regional forces for both the Lower Mainland and metro Victoria areas.
“Regional policing is the standard model with bigger cities for obvious reasons. It's more efficient and affordable and improves public safety, but that decision is not made by local mayors. It's made by the B.C. government. So far, they're not demonstrating a willingness to go there."
The premier and NDP leader Adrian Dix have refused to say if regional policing will be on the agenda after May’s election, but Robertson says he just wants them to agree to discuss it.
Another key recommendation made – and now endorsed by the VPD board – is to no longer keep mayors as chairs of police boards.
Robertson says there's a clear conflict of interest when funding for police services is reviewed.
"The chair role for a mayor who's eventually voting on the overall city budget is a challenging approach."
He says he still supports mayors being board members, but with no voting power.