Coquitlam mayor rejects idea of civic police force as Surrey moves forward on replacing RCMP

Police say the investigation is ongoing, and that "more charges are possible against all parties involved.". File / Global News

While Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum works toward moving from the RCMP to a civic police force, things are quite different in Coquitlam.

READ MORE: Surrey plans to have new police force running by July 2020: internal memo

Richard Stewart says as long as he is mayor, he would never support replacing RCMP with a municipal force.

“There’s no reason to. We get excellent service from the Coquitlam RCMP and the men and women from that force serve our community very well. And it would also cost about a third more,” said Stewart.

“The numbers clearly point to about a third increase for Coquitlam in order to go from RCMP to a municipal force and we would get nothing for that, we would get the same amount of officers with a different colour uniform.”

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And he says RCMP get plenty of officers.

“If you want more officers, just authorize more officers and they come.”

READ MORE: Surrey Newton MLA weighs in on policing debate

Stewart wrote a blog post about why he supports RCMP and posted it to his Facebook page.

“I won’t get into the debate over whether Surrey should convert to a municipal police force, as that decision is entirely up to their residents,” he wrote.

“But here in Coquitlam, I’d recommend against it, as I believe our annual policing costs would increase by about a third, not counting the amortization of the one-time costs (if you amortized those costs over a full decade, it would add about 10 points more, raising the cost increase to at least 40 per cent.”


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