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Richmond exploring possibility of creating its own police force

(iStock Photo)

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – Should Richmond ditch the Mounties and create its own local force?

That city is exploring that possibility, and if you live there, you’ll soon have a chance to weigh in.

The province’s decision to give the Mounties a 20-year contract extension back in 2012 upset some municipal leaders, including Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. He says that’s what prompted his city to get staff to look into the matter.

“We were forced to sign the new RCMP contract when there were a number of issues that were outstanding and unaddressed,” says Brodie.

The primary issue is a desire for more local control over the force, according to Brodie, rather than leaving major decisions to Ottawa.

A recently released staff report indicates moving away from the RCMP would cost an initial $20 million, and then an additional $3 million per year after that beyond what the city already pays for police services.

“There will be higher operating costs in the end,” says Brodie. “That’s with the same level of service… you can’t look at the difference between the two models and ignore the costs that are going to be incurred if you’re going to make the change.”

You can have your say at public consultation sessions planned for early in the new year as this discussion continues.