Counc. Anena Simpson sharing an update from the UBCM meeting. (Special to The News)

Counc. Anena Simpson sharing an update from the UBCM meeting. (Special to The News)

Pitt Meadows Mayor raises ‘separate RCMP detachment issue’ at UBCM

City expecting a decision soon

City of Pitt Meadows is waiting for the province’s approval for the new detachment for the city, and from what Counc. Anena Simpson said in the council meeting, it looks like it won’t be a long wait.

During the most recent regular council meeting held on Sept. 21, Simpson told the community and the council that a delegation from the city, including Mayor Bill Dingwall met with the Minister of Public Safety, Mike Farnworth.

Simpson said that they focused on looking for final approval from the Minister, for the council’s initiative on behalf of the community for de-integrating with the RCMP to have an independent detachment for Pitt Meadows.

“Early in our term we discovered that Pitt Meadows was subsidizing Maple Ridge in terms of policing. So rather that paying for police to be here in our city, we were actually paying for many of them to work in Maple Ridge. And after an independent consultant completed a police review for us, it was determined that an independent police detachment would be a much better value for our citizens,” she said.

In 2020, the council held a public meeting following a police review that recommended a separate detachment for the city. A consultation process followed, with the Katzie First Nation, the City of Maple Ridge and the residents. While the process followed by the city continues to be criticized by a few residents, from the city’s point of view the decision has been made barring a provincial decision.

ALSO READ: ‘Decision has been made,’ says Mayor Dingwall in response to petition opposing the new RCMP detachment

“We have been waiting for a final approval from the minister,” said Simpson, adding that they were able to get a sit down with Farnworth to discuss this and ask for an approval right then.

“We didn’t get the decision right then and there although it was asked for, but he assured us that he is very close to making this final decision, and we understand that since this meeting, we have heard through the grapevine that he is already taking those couple of more steps that he needs to make his final decision, which we do anticipate very soon,” said Simpson.

ALSO READ: Petition launched to stop the proposed Pitt Meadows RCMP detachment

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