LETTERS: Many more costs associated with municipal force

Editor:

Re: City force is a solid plan, letters, May 31.

Letter writer Mike Brian must not be a property taxpayer in Surrey.

The services provided by the RCMP are in the interest of the community, exactly the same as a municipal force, as they live here, too. There is hardly any family in Canada who doesn’t have a relative in the RCMP.

Each and every member of the force puts as much effort into their job as municipal police members. As a former member, I served many years, not in Surrey, but did carry out arrests and searches here as part of an overlap between Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey and New Westminster.

In several cases, I donated time to Surrey while off-duty because I lived in the city.

Does working for less money indicate dedication to you? Well it sure does to me. Our current mayor thinks that the additional cost of a municipal force would be in the order of less than 10 per cent. In reality, it will be more like a 40- to 50-per cent increase in cost.

If Mr. Brian has cause to be so generous with his tax money, please share the reason with other taxpayers. I, for one, have seen my taxes increase far too much.

The guaranteed 10 per cent cost saving for the RCMP is well worth considering, plus the plethora of savings that are hidden. Beyond that, will the new SPD want to acquire helicopters, a new training academy (the JIBC was opened in 1978 and there has not been adequate expansion on a very limited property), explosive demolition services?

How about the payment to ICBC for police-car coverage (which I assume is a higher risk than a family vehicle) because the RCMP does not pay for insurance as it is underwritten by the government of Canada?

If all or even half the current RCMP members were to leave, where would the new SPD be trained? Would it require a massive capital expenditure such as a major expansion of the JIBC? Factor all these costs in and then check the bottom line, don’t guess at it.

Mr. Brian, after reading the foregoing, do you still think the cost of the new SPD is a “solid plan.” If so, wait for your property tax notice.

Jim Simpson, RCMP (Retired)

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