Delta Police are not currently members of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

MLA decries hammer for special policing units

New legislation gives province power to force cities to join IHIT, new regional police teams

New provincial legislation that could force some holdout municipalities to join specialized regional policing units is troubling and dangerous, according to B.C.’s lone independent MLA.

Vicki Huntington (Delta South) said the change to the Police Act passed by the government last week gives the province “enormous power” to reorganize police services over the objections of local cities.

Some municipal police forces – in Vancouver, Delta and West Vancouver – aren’t part of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) and the province could now compel those cities to join and help fund the service rather than using separate municipal homicide squads.

Justice Vicki HuntingtonMinister Suzanne Anton said the province may also require universal participation in new specialized police teams that are yet to be created, but promised in the Legislature there would be “extensive consultation.”

That wasn’t good enough for Huntington, who tried but failed to amend the legislation to require the consent of municipalities.

Forced participation in regional police units could drive local taxes up, she said, noting Delta estimates it would cost $800,000 to $1 million extra each year to join IHIT.

“If you second an officer to one of these units you’re leaving a vacuum, a hole in the ability of that police force to service its own community,” Huntington said. “So you end up hiring additional police officers and the costs escalate.”

Huntington argued the move amounts to redirecting money raised by local property taxes to services that are provincial priorities, at the expense of local policing.

“I don’t think this type of unrestrained power is appropriate. I’m not saying this government would abuse it, but a government could abuse it.”

The Missing Women Inquiry in 2012 recommended some type of regional police force for Metro Vancouver, replacing the current patchwork of municipal forces and RCMP detachments, but the province’s strategy has so far been to improve and expand specialized teams.

Anton said the legislation could be used to create new teams anywhere in B.C.

 

 

Just Posted

City of White Rock responds to Lady Alexandra court petition

City says it did not breach ‘obligation of procedural fairness’

VIDEO: 5X Festival takes over Surrey’s Central City plaza

Second annual event draws thousands of people throughout the day

City shifts proposed transit station to King George after cancellation of LRT

Council to consider Newton Town Centre plan in fall

VIDEO: Plane makes forced landing on Highway 17 in Surrey

Police say no one was injured and no damage to aircraft or vehicles

Nearly 200 motorcycles take off from Cloverdale for Brenden’s Ride

Annual fundraiser supports programs that empower people with disabilities

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read

l -->