RCMP should get out of policing large cities, former Kelowna superintendent says - InfoNews

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RCMP should get out of policing large cities, former Kelowna superintendent says

Former RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon
November 27, 2018 - 3:08 PM

KELOWNA - It’s going to take more than lobbying by the City of Kelowna to get the fix it needs to deal with its shortage of police officers, says the city's former top cop.

“I never used to say this back in the day,” former Kelowna RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon told iNFOnews.ca today, Nov. 27. “I never thought the RCMP should get out of municipal policing. But the RCMP needs get out of policing big municipalities.”

In the report on crime and homeless that he presented to city council yesterday, McKinnon had 26 recommendations, including some dealing with the RCMP. Those recommendations included lobbying the RCMP and federal government to fill vacancies, adding more officers and restoring the auxiliary police program.

It can take more than a year to fill newly created positions and there are chronic problems with recruiting trainees.

When asked whether that’s because municipal forces pay about $20,000 per year more and don’t transfer members out of the city, McKinnon said “it’s all those things,” adding stories of endemic harassment towards women in the force as another detriment.

Surrey’s recently elected city council voted unanimously at its inaugural meeting earlier this month to start setting up its own municipal police force, according to a Vancouver Daily Hive report. The RCMP detachment in Surrey is about four times the size of Kelowna. 

Richmond rejected the idea in 2016.

Kelowna spends 20 per cent ($32.1 million) of its budget on the RCMP. Based on what other similar sized cities pay for municipal police forces, that cost could jump by $20 million a year.


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