Pitt Meadows police review trotted out to public

Positive meeting on separate RCMP office, says mayor

Pitt Meadows police review trotted out to public

Pitt Meadows residents are backing council as it moves towards having its own RCMP detachment, Mayor Bill Dingwall said following an information meeting on the issue.

About 100 people showed up at the Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall on Tuesday to hear presentations about a policing review that recommends Pitt Meadows have its own RCMP office, separate from the Ridge Meadows detachment.

“It was not a bad turnout and what I take from that… our community, I believe, has trust in us, otherwise the place would have been 300, 400, to 500 people,” Dingwall said Wednesday.

“They trust in us that we’re doing the right thing, that we presented a full report online, [on] our website, and they’re not concerned. Otherwise, they would have come to that meeting.”

Council and staff laid out a full business case for a separate detachment based on a report by a consultant.

Read more: Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows launch review of RCMP service

City of Pitt Meadows: Review of Policing Service Delivery recommends that the city form its own detachment. The report states it could be operated for about the same $5.7 million cost that Pitt Meadows is paying now for policing.

In addition to the public meeting, the city has an online feedback form where residents can also share their views.

Dingwall said that if many people had opposed the idea, it would have made council step back and question its communications.

“Once you read the report it will bring the vast majority of people to the same conclusion, that there’s a better model.”

He estimated a handful of people were opposed to the idea, while some people were asking questions that were answered in the report.

The review, by Blueline Vantage Consulting, concludes that an autonomous RCMP detachment in Pitt Meadows – while requiring some initial capital investment – “is the best option to address the key principles expressed by Pitt Meadows… while enhancing public safety and providing more direct accountability.”

The review notes that at present there’s no leader at Pitt Meadows’ community policing office to coordinate activities in Pitt Meadows. That leads Pitt Meadows council to feel their interests are being “overshadowed” by the draw for services in Maple Ridge.

A separate Pitt Meadows detachment would allow for a closer partnership between RCMP, council, and the community, said the review.

Resident Bill Wild said he’s worried about costs if city council decides to build a new detachment headquarters, instead of renovating the existing community policing office. No decision on that has been made.

Wild said that a new detachment building could see the draining of other savings accounts within the city.

“We’re going to need all the attributes for a police department and that’s costly,” Wild said Thursday.

But he recognized everything is still preliminary and no decisions have been made.

“Why so much all at once? The firehall, police, it’s a lot of money all at once and it’s putting us on the line,” Wild said.

The city is planning to build a new firehall on 122A Avenue, with costs potentially reaching $15 million.

Following consultation, council will look at a formal motion in March to create an independent detachment.

If council approves, the city must then seek permission from B.C. RCMP and the provincial government. Response from the RCMP could take up to two months, Dingwall explained.

Read more: Pitt Meadows looking at its own RCMP office

The City of Pitt Meadows, in a news release also said that both the City of Maple Ridge council and Katzie, “by unanimous support… formally endorsed the aspirations of Pitt Meadows…”

Pitt Meadows met with Maple Ridge council on Feb. 4 and with Katzie First Nations council on Feb. 6.

Dingwall said council had to order a report and consult with other governments so that it had enough information before bringing the proposal to the public.

Now that a business case is in place, council is asking residents to “come and tell us if we’re on track,” Dingwall said.

He said as a former RCMP member his heart lies with first responders, adding that council’s highest priority is public health and safety.

“Our council believes that a detachment in Pitt Meadows will enhance public safety for our community while advancing our relationship even further,” Katzie Chief Grace George said in the release.

Katzie already has agreements with Pitt Meadows for water, sewer, and fire services, she noted.

“We recognize and respect the aspirations of our neighbour to shape a public safety model that delivers on their vision for Pitt Meadows… we are committed to supporting the final decisions made and continue to collaborate for the mutual benefit of our citizens as we have for over a century,” said Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden.

People can comment on the review online by going to: haveyoursaypittmeadows.ca.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

School District 42’s Energy Cup runs from April 6 to 30. (SD 42 photo)
Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows students take on month-long energy conservation challenge

Sixth annual Energy Cup sees district’s elementary schools compete against one another

A ambulance drives past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
9 Lower Mainland hospitals to postpone non-urgent surgeries as hospitalizations surge

Record number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across B.C.

Ethan Andrews (left) and his aunt Shihana Wewala were two of the volunteers planting trees with Pitt Meadows parks workers in Bonson Park. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Pitt Meadows families plant trees for Earth Day

Popular city event sees beautification of Bonson Park

Stu Burgess is operations manager for Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks. (The News files)
Golden Ears park camping to be limited to those in local health region

Fraser Health Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health now considered one region

Police respond to a reported stabbbing near Fletcher Park in Maple Ridge on Wednesday afternoon. (Ronan O’Doherty/The News)
UPDATE: Stabbing reported in downtown Maple Ridge

Police and ambulance respond to home invasion near Fletcher Park

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Willoughby condo fire at 208th Street and 80th Avenue on April 19, 2021. (Shane MacKichan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. Carlos Monteith, the man charged in the Clayton shooting, was sentenced April 22 on charges related to a different shooting in New West in November, 2019. (File photo)
Man gets 6.5 years in prison for shooting as he awaits trial for separate Cloverdale slaying

Carlos Nathaniel Monteith sentenced for possessing a prohibited weapon and discharging a firearm with intent

Most Read