Richmond News

Richmond Chamber Urges City to Maintain RCMP Contract
Date:  2/29/2016
ArticleType:  Press Release


Richmond Chamber Urges City to Maintain RCMP Contract


RICHMOND –
Following a survey of Chamber members and their employees, the Chamber is urging the City of Richmond to maintain the existing municipal policing contract with the RCMP.

Richmond City Council is currently considering whether Richmond should cancel its current contract with the RCMP, and establish an independent Municipal Police Force. The City of Richmond launched a public consultation process on police services in January of 2016, running until February 29, 2016.

“This issue is a pressing decision facing our City today,” said Rob Akimow, Chair of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. “As the voice of business, it was important for us to go out to our membership before formulating a policy.”

In the survey, which was distributed to all active members of the Chamber, respondents were ask to rate their level of satisfaction with the Richmond RCMP - 79% of respondents indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service. Only 5.6% rated a poor degree of satisfaction.

Respondents were asked for additional comments and input. Given the high level of satisfaction members had with the RCMP, a common refrain was confusion regarding the impetus to change to an independent municipal service. Because most members did not perceive any major problems with the RCMP, they expressed strong reluctance to make any major changes.

The City has indicated that a municipal force would require an initial approximate $20 million for implementation, and an additional $2-4 million per year above what is currently budgeted for the RCMP; approximately 80% of respondents were opposed to these increases.

Ultimately when members were asked what they felt the best path forward for Richmond was, a clear majority favoured staying with the RCMP or investing the additional operating costs associated with a municipal force into improvements provided by the RCMP. A minority of 15% of respondents indicated a desire to implement an independent police force.

“After consulting our members, our Policy Advisory Committee and Board of Directors feel confident that the best way forward for Richmond’s policing is to maintain the existing contract with the RCMP, who have been serving our community for decades,” concluded Akimow. “We very much look forward to hearing the results of the City’s own survey and Council’s informed perspective on whether to continue to pursue a new independent municipal police force.”

 

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