Mission contemplates regional police force

Mayor Ted Adlem will meet with other area mayors later this year

At least three Fraser Valley mayors are considering a regional police force.

The idea of moving away from the national police force was brought up at the last joint mayors meeting a few months ago, and Mission Mayor Ted Adlem received unanimous support from his council Monday night to pursue the issue further. Coun. Larry Nundal was absent.

Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz said she was interested in the idea, and Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman indicated he would be happy to expand its police force. Adlem would also like to see the two Langleys involved as well.

Despite initial interest, Adlem says it could be September or October before a meeting is set up.

“The three mayors and the chief of the Abbotsford Police Department would have to sit down to discuss the concept, then research the costs.”

Mission councillors expressed frustration with the RCMP after receiving an “empty” response to their concerns.

“Our questions were specific, and their answers were vague,” said Coun. Jeff Jewell.

Council sent a letter to the Ministry of Justice and the RCMP in June outlining three budgetary concerns:

• the cost for long rifles for the 2013/2014 budget was more than six times the original estimate of $1,500 each;

• why the cost for relocating E Division to the new Green Timbers building in Surrey was added when the expenditure has not been approved;

• why the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is the only integrated service with a 70/30 funding split.

Council will send another letter with the same questions and hope to get more specific answers.