Re: Police funding unfair: Chamber
The chamber of commerce and Mayor Peary have little to complain about, in my opinion.
When Abbotsford and Matsqui amalgamated and opted to maintain the Matsqui Police Department (now Abbotsford Police Services) it opted to forego the savings (it’s actually a cost avoidance) it could have benefited from had it chosen to have the RCMP as its policing force.
Putting aside that both municipal police and the RCMP forces are equal in professionalism, integrity, and ability to serve the Canadian public in law enforcement, it is important to have some insights into why the RCMP in some larger municipalities and smaller localities have some cost avoidance.
Remember, by paying less for RCMP policing, a municipality does not save money but avoid a cost versus paying for 100 per cent of policing. There is a difference.
For example, many administrative costs, nationally for the RCMP, can be shared by the municipalities in which the RCMP serve, thus spreading this cost among all the contracts avoids some costs to each partner.
Maintaining administrative and operational data bases by the RCMP can be shared among all partners where the RCMP has contracts; thus, again the contracting partners will reap some cost avoidances. Another example is the maintaining of centralized and specialized squads to investigate serious crime.
The same goes for the RCMP training academy, a national personnel department, a national financial department, and maintaining central dispatch facilities.
If Mayor Peary is serious about avoiding some policing costs, i.e., the $4 million he speaks about, he would be more persuasive in his argument if he and the council would look at bringing the RCMP into Abbotsford to provide policing services.
I again want to make it clear that the Abbotsford Police Services’ capabilities in law enforcement is not in question here. But, having a national police force with its central administrative and operational personnel in many areas, and who stand behind each and every officer on the street will, when the cost to policing is distributed to all its contracting partners, reduce the overall cost for policing and that cost reduction is passed along to every municipality where the RCMP is present.