Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Regional Police force

In dealing with gang violence there has been debate about the formation of a Regional Police Force since criminals move between police jurisdictions. That certainly makes sense. In fact criminals also move between regions so why not consider a National Police force?

Yeah that’s the ticket. In keeping with the historical framework of Canadian heritage let’s call it the Royal Canadian Mountain Police. Oh right, we already have a national police force.

The debate is contentious since no one wants to give up power. City police are unionized, the RCMP is not. That’s just one factor. I do see benefits in letting police officers from one city being permitted to transfer to another city to avoid burnout. People can only patrol East Van for so long before getting discouraged and frustrated. Yet it’s all problematic.

We need cooperation between the forces and public accountability. We have seen petty politics rise in dealing with investigations that cross policing boundaries. We need to rise above this. We also need to maintain or improve public accountability. I’m still very concerned with RCMP official Richard Barszczewski stopping charges against the Hells Angels from proceeding in Canada.

I’m told the new Solicitor General is an advocate for a Regional Police force. Although problematic it is possible. However, criminals also cross national boundaries and there is no need to merge our police force with other countries. We simply need to cooperate with them.

Likewise, there is no reason city police forces cannot cooperate with each other in the formation of a Regional Gang Task Force like the B.E.U. in Ontario. Creating a Regional Police force will not address the judicial Reform we need in BC where the federal laws are administered differently here than they are in other provinces nor would it force the judges in BC to recognize criminal organization legislation. Talk is indeed cheap and actions still speak louder than words.

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