Photo: CTV News
UPDATE 4:28 p.m.
BC RCMP Commander Dwayne McDonald responded to the committee’s report calling for a new provincial police force saying he will take the time to review the report, but is proud of the work what the RCMP is doing in British Columbia.
“I am very proud of the RCMP team who work incredibly hard every day to keep BC communities safe and we remain committed to doing so.
“We will take the time to thoroughly analyze and review the committee’s report and its recommendations. Until this thorough review is complete, we will not speculate on next steps. Discussions about the role and future policing is not limited to British Columbia and includes considerations such as governance, accountability, service delivery and funding Efforts are already underway to evolve, modernize and improve policing services. police,” McDonald said.
The RCMP contract runs until 2032.
A special committee has recommended that British Columbia create its own new provincial police force.
The Select Committee on Police Law Reform has been appointed to examine policing in the province after accusations of systemic racism and other policing issues.
CTV News Vancouver reports that the committee spent 15 months looking at issues such as liability and responding to mental health and addictions appeals.
The committee’s recommendations include 11 key points, including that British Columbia establish a new Community Safety and Policing Act and create a provincial police service to be governed by that act.
“It has become clear that transformative change is needed to achieve a new vision for policing and community safety rooted in decolonization, anti-racism, community and accountability,” reads the committee’s report. in the Legislative Assembly, released Thursday.
The RCMP is the default police service for municipalities with populations under 5,000, as well as rural and unincorporated areas, but many larger areas like Kelowna are also serviced by the RCMP.
The committee commended the RCMP for trying to evolve, but ultimately felt there was too great a disconnect between provincial and municipal policing priorities. “In their experience, the RCMP does not align with BC culture and community norms as effectively as municipal police services.
“They highlighted the importance of ensuring that the Police Act focuses on public safety and allows local standards and expectations to be reflected in service delivery,” the report said.
Dr. Bonnie Henry was particularly concerned about the criminal justice-based approach to the current overdose crisis, noting that adjustments to the current Police Act could help the province move toward decriminalization.
The National Police Federation union called the discussion “a bit premature”.
“From our perspective, we’ve done waves – many waves – of independent research into policing in British Columbia, and British Columbians have consistently told us that they’re very satisfied with the policing that they have. they get from the RCMP,” said union president Brian Sauvé. told CTV News.
-with files from CTV News Vancouver