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City signs RCMP deal
The recent 20-year renewal of the RCMP Provincial Unit Agreement will increase policing costs for Parksville by $15,500 in 2012, $53,000 in 2013 and 2014 and $68,000 a year after that.
As councillor Carrie Powell-Davidson pointed out, the city doesn’t have much choice, the report from staff starkly pointing out council’s options were to sign the agreement or “Give notice to withdraw from the RCMP policing agreements and establish a municipal police force.”
The report says that on top of the start-up capital costs for buildings, vehicles and equipment, a stand-alone municipal police service would cost around twice as much to operate.
Mayor Chris Burger said some communities are apparently withholding their payments to try to re-negotiate but Parksville council voted to sign on with little comment.
“We’re getting really good value and we have a great staff sergeant right now,” he said, “we have a really good relationship with them and there is no sense of crisis here.”
He added that in their recent budget process council cancelled funding for a new officer as part of a hiring freeze.
Staff said the new agreement doesn’t make many substantive changes, just the increases for wages and provincial infrastructure including a new headquarters building.