Richmond mayor questions return on policing costs 0
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team — one of five 'integrated' units that has 21 B.C. municipalities signed up — investigates a fatal shooting in Burnaby. Concerns are being raised on the units' funding accountability and whether costs are fairly shared. (24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)
Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie wants Victoria to control how much resources are poured into B.C.’s integrated police services as costs rise for the 21 cities in the program.
The integrated police services, which are primarily led by the RCMP, include homicide investigations, forensics, collision analysis, the emergency response team and canine units. Their budget is being increased 10.9% over the next year.
While each municipality controls its own police department’s yearly spending, in the case of integrated services, according to Brodie, it’s up to the Mounties to determine how many people are hired and for what pay.
“In 2008, we spent $2.7 million on integrated teams. Now, for 2013-2014, we’re spending $3.3 million,” he said. “And the number of (integrated police) personnel has increased, so who’s monitoring that?”
The island city has been tracking the value of service it receives annually from RCMP-led programs. It found in its latest report that all but five municipalities — Langley Township, Maple Ridge, Mission, New West and Surrey — pay a larger share than what’s being returned in service.
Richmond, for example, paid $2.93 million over the past year for 8.9% of the integrated police team’s overall service. That represented a $30,000 gap in what Brodie calls “overpayment,” but other municipalities, such as Port Coquitlam, are paying far more.
For the nearly $1 million PoCo spent in the past year, according to RCMP stats, the Tri-City municipality received less than 32 cents of service for each $1 paid.
“Of course we have a concern when we’re paying so much more than the average,” PoCo Mayor Greg Moore said Monday.
“We’ve actually brought this up … and it’s a conversation that needs to happen about the cost. The formula that was created originally, it’s probably a good time to review that.”
Under the current formula, cities pay 75% of their costs based on the total number of criminal code offenses occurring within their borders, with each city’s population figures accounting for 25% of the costs.
Surrey, in particular, has benefited from this model in that it received $2.7 million more in service value for its contribution of $9.3 million in the past year.