North Okanagan politicians frustrated by lack of communication with B.C. RCMP - InfoNews

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North Okanagan politicians frustrated by lack of communication with B.C. RCMP

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February 14, 2018 - 11:48 AM

VERNON - Vernon city council is concerned the B.C. RCMP is making decisions without consulting local municipalities who actually pay for the bulk of the service.

Coun. Catherine Lord says B.C. RCMP, or ‘E-division’, is supposed to consult with a group called the Local Government Contract Management Committee, which was created several years ago to receive information about issues affecting cost, quality, governance or the capacity of RCMP to deliver local police services. The committee was supposed to be a forum for consultation and communication between local government and the RCMP, but Lord says that’s not happening.

“We have had some downloading from the RCMP in the last couple of years where we get no notice or one month’s notice and it can have quite a significant (impact),” Lord says.

Police services are the largest budget item in the city’s financial plan, and last minute cost changes are challenging, Lord says and why Vernon council is looking for support from its neighbours. It has decided to make a recommendation to the Southern Interior Local Government Association, and if successful to the Union of B.C. Municipalities, for the Solicitor General to require E-division to provide one calendar year notice to municipalities when there will be a change in service delivery that will have a substantial budget impact of more than $10,000.

In the recommendation, council states that E-division has “made numerous unilateral decisions which have altered historical police service provision and significantly increased costs to local government.”

The city says it typically learns of the changes through the officer in charge with “little or no consultation.”

“The Local Government Contract Management Committee needs to be consulted by the RCMP, not ignored,” the city says in its recommendation.

If endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association at an upcoming convention in April, the recommendation will be brought forward to the Union of B.C. Municipalities. 

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