Pitt Meadows is expected to hear recommendations next month on moving to its own RCMP detachment, independent of Maple Ridge.
Tonia Enger, of Blueline Vantage Consulting, is conducting the review on behalf of Pitt Meadows council and said she will have recommendations by mid to late December.
Police reviews were announced by Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge in June.
Enger, in a report to Pitt Meadows council this past week, said the city enjoys crime rates and a crime severity index that are lower than average compared to communities across Canada.
Enger called the members of the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment “a very dedicated bunch,” adding there is no reason to make a change, unless a new model results in improved public protection.
“And, is it going to improve on relationships and accountability between the police, the city and the community?”
Enger said the integrated model with the detachment in Maple Ridge has allowed for a “surge capacity and expertise” to respond to serious crime in Pitt Meadows.
“You’re not the same as your neighbouring community of Maple Ridge. Your growth and your geography is different, your demographic is different, so take that into consideration in any options.”
Her report is looking at the potential for an improved model, tailored to the needs of the community.
She noted some Pitt Meadows councillors toured White Rock’s standalone RCMP detachment and examined its building and model.
She noted the model must also stay within the current budget of approximately $6 million.
Mayor Bill Dingwall said the community has raised concerns around police visibility. He would like to see police officers watching sporting events, visiting schools or in local parks, and able to respond to crimes from there.
He said council is striving for “familiarity with the yellow stripe throughout our community, and not necessarily because there is crime happening, but because they are part of our community.”
Dingwall also made clear the city is only considering its own RCMP detachment, and not an independent police force.
The RCMP will be involved in decisions about any model change, and Enger’s report will examine impacts on Maple Ridge.